Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[bom-shel] /ˈbɒmˌʃɛl/
a bomb.
something or someone having a sudden and sensational effect:
The news of his resignation was a bombshell.
Origin of bombshell
1700-10; 1925-30 for def 2; bomb + shell Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for bombshell
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Well, I seem to have accidentally dropped a bombshell among you!

    The Big Drum Arthur Pinero
  • I was a vagabond, and a bombshell in the path of both of them.

    Seek and Find Oliver Optic
  • This unexpected speech fell like a bombshell into the crowd, and Jack Summers was the one worst stunned by it.

    Juggernaut George Cary Eggleston
  • A bombshell on the floor could hardly have made a greater sensation.

    Roger Ingleton, Minor Talbot Baines Reed
  • On the wing overhead, the loon looks not unlike a very large duck, but when it alights it ploughs into the water like a bombshell.

British Dictionary definitions for bombshell


(esp formerly) a bomb or artillery shell
a shocking or unwelcome surprise: the news of his death was a bombshell
(informal) an attractive girl or woman (esp in the phrase blonde bombshell)
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 bombshell

1708, from bomb (n.) + shell (n.). The figurative sense of "shattering or devastating thing or event" attested from 1860. In reference to a pretty woman (especially a blonde) it is attested from 1942 ("Bombshell" as title of a movie starring blond U.S. actress Jean Harlow (1911-1937) is from 1933).

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



  1. A startling, striking event; a stunning piece of news or something that makes one gape: Her entrance astride the crocodile was a bombshell (1920s+)
  2. A sexually stimulating woman •Often in the expression ''blonde bombshell'' (1940s+)
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 bombshell


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

Difficulty index for bombshell

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bombshell

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for bombshell