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bombshell

[bom-shel]
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noun
  1. a bomb.
  2. something or someone having a sudden and sensational effect: The news of his resignation was a bombshell.
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Origin of bombshell

1700–10; 1925–30 for def 2; bomb + shell
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bombshell

bump, shock, reversal, punch, setback, excitement, thrill, phenomenon, prodigy, impact, disturbance, consternation, collapse, confusion, jolt, earthquake, trauma, awe, injury, scare

Examples from the Web for bombshell

Contemporary Examples of bombshell

Historical Examples of bombshell

  • I found out afterwards that they'd been on the lookout for the bombshell for half an hour.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • A second potato burst like a bombshell on the shingles behind him.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Had a bombshell burst over my head the effect could have been no greater.

    The Long Voyage

    Carl Richard Jacobi

  • If a bombshell had dropped into Sellersville, consternation could not have been more complete.

    The Mountain Divide

    Frank H. Spearman

  • His appearance in the fray was like that of a bombshell timed to explode in its midst.

    The Mountain Divide

    Frank H. Spearman


British Dictionary definitions for bombshell

bombshell

noun
  1. (esp formerly) a bomb or artillery shell
  2. a shocking or unwelcome surprisethe news of his death was a bombshell
  3. informal an attractive girl or woman (esp in the phrase blonde bombshell)
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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 bombshell

n.

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with bombshell

bombshell

see drop a bombshell.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.