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or whizbang, whizz-bang

[noun hwiz-bang, wiz-; adjective hwiz-bang, wiz-] /noun ˈʰwɪzˌbæŋ, ˈwɪz-; adjective ˈʰwɪzˈbæŋ, ˈwɪz-/
Military. a small, high-speed shell whose sound as it flies through the air arrives almost at the same instant as its explosion.
a firecracker with a similar effect.
Informal. whiz1 (def 5).
Informal. first-rate; topnotch:
a whiz-bang navigator.
Origin of whiz-bang
First recorded in 1910-15; orig. imitative Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for whizz-bang
Historical Examples
  • For every "whizz-bang" we sent over he returned about a dozen 5.9's.

    The Emma Gees

    Herbert Wes McBride
  • The Colonel had had his leg smashed by a whizz-bang when leading his troops into action.

    The Glory of the Trenches Coningsby Dawson
  • I once saw five soldiers killed by one unlucky shot from a whizz-bang.

    Over Here Hector MacQuarrie
  • This was our first experience of the weapon, and the first experience of a whizz-bang is very disturbing.

    The Secret Battle A. P. Herbert
  • Of the German shells—the field guns come with a great velocity—no warning—just whizz-bang; white smoke, nearly always air bursts.

  • Then, if I think it possible, I'm to go further forward to the whizz-bang gun and blow it into the middle of the next war.

    Tell England Ernest Raymond
  • I was awakened the next morning by the sound of a whizz-bang flying over our dugout.

    Trenching at Gallipoli John Gallishaw
  • The worst of all is the whizz-bang, because it doesn't give you a chance—it pounces and is on you the same moment that it bangs.

    Carry On Coningsby Dawson
  • Its arrival brought fresh gun-fire on us, and before long a whizz-bang made a direct hit on our shelter.

  • They had not gone seventy yards before a "whizz-bang" burst a few yards North of the road hitting a Stretcher Bearer.

British Dictionary definitions for whizz-bang


a small-calibre World War I shell that, when discharged, travelled at such a high velocity that the sound of its flight was heard only an instant, if at all, before the sound of its explosion
a type of firework that jumps around emitting a whizzing sound and occasional bangs
(informal) excellent or first-rate
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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