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[brawd-sahyd] /ˈbrɔdˌsaɪd/
the whole side of a ship above the water line, from the bow to the quarter.
  1. all the guns that can be fired from one side of a warship.
  2. a simultaneous discharge of all the guns on one side of a warship.
any strong or comprehensive attack, as by criticism.
Also called broadsheet.
  1. a sheet of paper printed on one or both sides, as for distribution or posting.
  2. any printed advertising circular.
any broad surface or side, as of a house.
Also called broadside ballad. a song, chiefly in 16th- and 17th-century England, written on a topical subject, printed on broadsides, and sung in public, as on a street corner, by a professional balladeer.
with the side, especially with the broader side, facing toward a given point or object:
The truck hit the fence broadside.
in a wide-ranging manner; at random:
to attack the president's policies broadside.
verb (used without object), broadsided, broadsiding.
to proceed or go broadside.
to fire a broadside or broadsides.
verb (used with object), broadsided, broadsiding.
to collide with or run into the side of (a vehicle, object, person, etc.):
We got broadsided on the freeway.
to make concerted verbal attacks on:
The president was broadsided by the opposition.
Origin of broadside
First recorded in 1565-75; broad + side1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for broadside
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I should care nothing for her and her broadside if the schooner was not here.'

  • Besides, by breaking the circuit I can take off the influence when I am firing my own broadside.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • He fired his first broadside before his lodger entered the barn.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • Sharp, shrewd, able and all that, but rough and hard as the broadside of a white-oak plank.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • The mate's gun was never fired, nor was the broadside from below.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • He sheered off, then turned with a rush, broadside on, with his sail up.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • Eventually I got him out of that broadside position away from us and to the boat.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
British Dictionary definitions for broadside


(nautical) the entire side of a vessel, from stem to stern and from waterline to rail
  1. all the armament fired from one side of a warship
  2. the simultaneous discharge of such armament
a strong or abusive verbal or written attack
Also called broadside ballad. a ballad or popular song printed on one side of a sheet of paper and sold by hawkers, esp in 16th-century England
any standard size of paper before cutting or folding: demy broadside
another name for broadsheet (sense 1)
a large flat surface: the broadside of the barn
with a broader side facing an object; sideways: the train hit the lorry broadside
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
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Word Origin and History for broadside

1590s, "side of a ship" (technically, "the side of a ship above the water, between the bow and the quarter"), from broad (adj.) + side (n.); thus "the artillery on one side of a ship all fired off at once" (1590s, with figurative extensions). Two words until late 18c. Of things other than ships, 1630s. But oldest-recorded sense in English is "sheet of paper printed only on one side" (1570s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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