• synonyms

star shell

  1. a shell that bursts in the air and produces a bright light to illuminate enemy positions.
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Origin of star shell

First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for star shell

Historical Examples of star shell

  • And he lunged upwards at the dangling figure in the light of the star-shell!

    With Haig on the Somme

    D. H. Parry

  • Or a flare from a star-shell might reveal him crouching beside his prisoner.

  • At night the attackers must be illuminated by star-shell, flares, or searchlights.

    The Blocking of Zeebrugge

    Alfred F. B. Carpenter

  • Minutes pass, and below us gleams the fading loveliness of a star-shell.

    'Green Balls'

    Paul Bewsher

  • The star-shell had the same missions as other flares, but it was projected by a charge of powder from a gun.

    Artificial Light

    M. Luckiesh

British Dictionary definitions for star shell

star shell

  1. an artillery shell containing a flare or other illuminant: often containing a parachute to prolong the descent of the illuminating material
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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