or whiz·bang, whizz-bang

[noun hwiz-bang, wiz-; adjective hwiz-bang, wiz-]


Military. a small, high-speed shell whose sound as it flies through the air arrives almost at the same instant as its explosion.
a firecracker with a similar effect.
Informal. whiz1(def 5).


Informal. first-rate; topnotch: a whiz-bang navigator.

Origin of whiz-bang

First recorded in 1910–15; orig. imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for whizz-bang

Historical Examples of whizz-bang

  • For every "whizz-bang" we sent over he returned about a dozen 5.9's.

    The Emma Gees

    Herbert Wes McBride

  • The Colonel had had his leg smashed by a whizz-bang when leading his troops into action.

  • I once saw five soldiers killed by one unlucky shot from a whizz-bang.

    Over Here

    Hector MacQuarrie

  • This was our first experience of the weapon, and the first experience of a whizz-bang is very disturbing.

    The Secret Battle

    A. P. Herbert

  • Of the German shells—the field guns come with a great velocity—no warning—just whizz-bang; white smoke, nearly always air bursts.

British Dictionary definitions for whizz-bang




a small-calibre World War I shell that, when discharged, travelled at such a high velocity that the sound of its flight was heard only an instant, if at all, before the sound of its explosion
a type of firework that jumps around emitting a whizzing sound and occasional bangs


informal excellent or first-rate
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