- a shell that bursts in the air and produces a bright light to illuminate enemy positions.
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
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.Army Boys on the Firing Line
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'
The star-shell had the same missions as other flares, but it was projected by a charge of powder from a gun.Artificial Light
- an artillery shell containing a flare or other illuminant: often containing a parachute to prolong the descent of the illuminating material