[ streyf, strahf ]
/ streɪf, strɑf /

verb (used with object), strafed, straf·ing.

to attack (ground troops or installations) by airplanes with machine-gun fire.
Slang. to reprimand viciously.


a strafing attack.

Origin of strafe

First recorded in 1910–15, strafe is from the German word strafen to punish

Related forms

straf·er, nounun·strafed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for strafe

British Dictionary definitions for strafe


/ (streɪf, strɑːf) /

verb (tr)

to machine-gun (troops, etc) from the air
slang to punish harshly


an act or instance of strafing

Derived Forms

strafer, noun

Word Origin for strafe

C20: from German strafen to punish
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