air raid


a raid by aircraft, especially for bombing a particular area.

Nearby words

  1. air pressure,
  2. air pump,
  3. air quality index,
  4. air quotes,
  5. air rage,
  6. air rifle,
  7. air right,
  8. air root,
  9. air route,
  10. air sac

Origin of air raid

First recorded in 1910–15

Related formsair-raid, adjectiveair raider, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for air raid

British Dictionary definitions for air raid

air raid


  1. an attack by hostile aircraft
  2. (as modifier)an air-raid shelter
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

Word Origin and History for air raid

air raid


1914, from air (n.1) + raid (n.); originally in reference to British attacks Sept. 22, 1914, on Zeppelin bases at Cologne and Düsseldorf in World War I. The German word is Fliegerangriff "aviator-attack," and if Old English had survived into the 20th century our word instead might be fleogendeongrype.

One didn't dare to inhale for fear of breathing it in. It was the sound of eighteen hundred airplanes approaching Hamburg from the south at an unimaginable height. We had already experienced two hundred or even more air raids, among them some very heavy ones, but this was something completely new. And yet there was an immediate recognition: this was what everyone had been waiting for, what had hung for months like a shadow over everything we did, making us weary. It was the end. [Hans Erich Nossack, "Der Untergang," 1942]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper