Try Our Apps


Words You've Been Using Wrong


[bom] /bɒm/
Military. a projectile, formerly usually spherical, filled with a bursting charge and exploded by means of a fuze, by impact, or otherwise, now generally designed to be dropped from an aircraft.
any similar missile or explosive device used as a weapon, to disperse crowds, etc.:
a time bomb; a smoke bomb.
Also called volcanic bomb. Geology. a rough spherical or ellipsoidal mass of lava, ejected from a volcano and hardened while falling.
Football. a long forward pass, especially one to a teammate who scores a touchdown.
Slang. an absolute failure; fiasco:
The play was a bomb and closed after two performances.
Synonyms: flop, dud, bust, washout.
Computers. a spectacular program failure or system failure.
the bomb, Slang. something or someone that is excellent or very impressive:
Her boyfriend is the bomb!
Chiefly British Slang. an overwhelming success:
The novel is selling like a bomb.
Jazz. a sudden, unexpected accent or rhythmic figure played by a drummer during a performance.
a lead or lead-lined container for transporting and storing radioactive materials.
the bomb.
  1. atomic bomb.
  2. nuclear weapons collectively.
Slang. a powerful automobile or other vehicle.
Slang. something unpleasant that is unexpected or shocking (often used in combination with the first letter of an offensive or unmentionable word, as in f-bomb; s-bomb; n-bomb): He's always dropping the f-bomb.
Then came the bomb about the staff cuts.
Slang. something unauthorized or illegal that is executed in a stealthy manner, typically having an overwhelming or sensational effect (used in combination, as in mail bomb; graffiti bomb).
verb (used with object)
to hurl bombs at or drop bombs upon, as from an airplane; bombard:
The enemy planes bombed the city.
to explode by means of a bomb or explosive.
to damage, ruin, defeat, etc., as if with bombs.
Computers. to deliberately cause (a computer system) to fail with a program written for the purpose.
verb (used without object)
to hurl or drop bombs.
to explode a bomb or bombs.
Slang. to be or make a complete failure, especially to fail to please or gain an audience (sometimes followed by out): His last play bombed on Broadway.
The business bombed out with a $25,000 debt.
Synonyms: fail, flop.
(of a computer program or system) to fail spectacularly.
Slang. to spray-paint graffiti over many surfaces in an area, working quickly and using simple forms and designs:
He made his reputation bombing on the east side of town.
Informal. to move very quickly:
They came bombing through here on their motorcycles at 2 a.m.
Origin of bomb
1580-90; earlier bom(b)e < Spanish bomba (de fuego) “ball (of fire),” akin to bombo “drum” < Latin bombus “a booming sound” < Greek bómbos
Related forms
bombable, adjective
Can be confused
balm, bomb. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for bomb out
Historical Examples
  • Coleman was just starting to struggle the bomb out of his pants when the action was over.

    The Velvet Glove Harry Harrison
  • Theyll only follow up and bomb us out traverse by traverse till theres none of us left to bomb out.

    Grapes of wrath Boyd Cable
  • I held my bomb out over the shield, calculating the angle to throw it down.

  • One of them made a sign, transferred the vapor gun to his left hand, and took a bomb out of his pocket.

    Black Star's Campaign Johnston McCulley
  • He had the bomb out of his pocket, when the machine guns began firing again, this time at something on his left.

    Hunter Patrol Henry Beam Piper and John J. McGuire
  • Because the Germans knew what must come the next day, the German cannon were trying to bomb out the British guns.

British Dictionary definitions for bomb out

bomb out

(adverb; transitive, usually passive) to make homeless by bombing: 24 families in this street have been bombed out


  1. a hollow projectile containing an explosive, incendiary, or other destructive substance, esp one carried by aircraft
  2. (as modifier): bomb disposal, a bomb bay
  3. (in combination): a bombload, bombproof
any container filled with explosive: a car bomb, a letter bomb
the bomb
  1. a hydrogen or atomic bomb considered as the ultimate destructive weapon
  2. (slang) something excellent: it's the bomb
a round or pear-shaped mass of volcanic rock, solidified from molten lava that has been thrown into the air
(med) a container for radioactive material, applied therapeutically to any part of the body: a cobalt bomb
(Brit, slang) a large sum of money (esp in the phrase make a bomb)
(US & Canadian, slang) a disastrous failure: the new play was a total bomb
(Austral & NZ, slang) an old or dilapidated motorcar
(American football) a very long high pass
(in rugby union) another term for up-and-under
(Brit & NZ, informal) like a bomb, with great speed or success; very well (esp in the phrase go like a bomb)
to attack with or as if with a bomb or bombs; drop bombs (on)
(intransitive; often foll by off, along, etc) (informal) to move or drive very quickly
(intransitive) (slang) to fail disastrously; be a flop: the new play bombed See also bomb out
Word Origin
C17: from French bombe, from Italian bomba, probably from Latin bombus a booming sound, from Greek bombos, of imitative origin; compare Old Norse bumba drum
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bomb out



1580s, from French bombe, from Italian bomba, probably from Latin bombus "a deep, hollow noise; a buzzing or booming sound," from Greek bombos "deep and hollow sound," echoic. Originally of mortar shells, etc.; modern sense of "explosive device placed by hand or dropped from airplane" is 1909. Meaning "old car" is from 1953. Meaning "success" is from 1954 (late 1990s slang the bomb "the best" is probably a fresh formation); opposite sense of "a failure" is from 1963. The bomb "atomic bomb" is from 1945.



1680s, from bomb (n.). Meaning "to fail" attested from 1963. Related: Bombed; bombing. Slang bombed "drunk" is attested by 1956.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for bomb out

bomb out

verb phrase

To fail; bomb: Stephanie Moody ''bombed out'' last year: failed to complete her opening lifts (1970s+)



  1. A conspicuous and total failure; blast, flop (1950s+ Show business)
  2. A car, esp a hot rod (1950s+ Hot rodders)
  3. (also bomber) An especially big marijuana cigarette (1950s+ Narcotics)
  4. Heroin (1950s+ Narcotics)
  5. Something very good: teenagers come home from a movie and say it was a ''bomb,'' yet insist on seeing it again and again (1990s+ Teenagers)


  1. : The show bombed everywhere on the road/ I took the test, and bombed (1960s+ Show business)
  2. To dovery well at or on: I really bombed the math test, aced it (1960s+ Students)
  3. To go very fast; plunge: found the discarded relics ideal for bombing down the dirt slopes of Mt Tam (1960s+)
  4. To paint graffiti on; tag: His favorite stylin'-and-bombin' wall, tagged with the rebellious urban scrawl of graffiti artists (1980s+)

Related Terms

drop bombs, dumb bomb, stink bomb

[in the sense of failure, perhaps fr the outdated expression make a baum of it, ''fail'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with bomb out


see: time bomb
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for bomb out

Difficulty index for bomb

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bomb

Scrabble Words With Friends