bomb (n.)

1588, from Fr. bombe, from It. bomba, probably from L. bombus "a buzzing or booming sound," from Gk. bombos "deep and hollow sound," echoic. Originally of mortar shells, etc.; modern sense of "explosive device placed by hand or dropped from airplane" is 1909. Meaning "old car" is from 1953. Meaning "success" is from 1954 (though late 1990s slang in the bomb "the best" is probably a fresh formation); opposite sense of "a failure" is from 1963. The bomb "atomic bomb" is from 1945. Bombshell in the fig. sense of "shattering or devastating thing or event" is from 1860; in ref. to a pretty woman (esp. a blonde) it is attested from 1942. Bomber as a type of military aircraft is from 1917. Bombed "drunk" is from 1959.

@ Online Etymology Dictionary


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