See more synonyms for broadside on
  1. the whole side of a ship above the water line, from the bow to the quarter.
  2. Navy.
    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.
  3. any strong or comprehensive attack, as by criticism.
  4. Also called broadsheet.
    1. a sheet of paper printed on one or both sides, as for distribution or posting.
    2. any printed advertising circular.
  5. any broad surface or side, as of a house.
  6. 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.
  1. with the side, especially with the broader side, facing toward a given point or object: The truck hit the fence broadside.
  2. in a wide-ranging manner; at random: to attack the president's policies broadside.
verb (used without object), broad·sid·ed, broad·sid·ing.
  1. to proceed or go broadside.
  2. to fire a broadside or broadsides.
verb (used with object), broad·sid·ed, broad·sid·ing.
  1. to collide with or run into the side of (a vehicle, object, person, etc.): We got broadsided on the freeway.
  2. 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for broadside

Contemporary Examples of broadside

Historical Examples of broadside

  • 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.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for broadside


  1. nautical the entire side of a vessel, from stem to stern and from waterline to rail
  2. navy
    1. all the armament fired from one side of a warship
    2. the simultaneous discharge of such armament
  3. a strong or abusive verbal or written attack
  4. 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
  5. any standard size of paper before cutting or foldingdemy broadside
  6. another name for broadsheet (def. 1)
  7. a large flat surfacethe broadside of the barn
  1. with a broader side facing an object; sidewaysthe 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

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