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Explosion of a bomb or shell in the atmosphere.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Military) the explosion of a bomb, shell, etc, in the air
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



the explosion of a bomb or shell in midair.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


An explosion of a bomb or projectile above the surface as distinguished from an explosion on contact with the surface or after penetration. See also types of burst.
Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.airburst - an explosion in the atmosphere
blowup, detonation, explosion - a violent release of energy caused by a chemical or nuclear reaction
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, "daylight fireballs" and "significant airbursts" may be visible in the sky during the meteor shower's peak activity, according to the researchers.
Which is not to mention what would happen if our newfound digital utopia were subjected to two or three well placed nuclear airbursts creating a coast-to-coast electro- magnetic pulse (EMP) attack.
The 71-page report 'Rain of Fire: Israel's Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza' by Human Rights Watch, discloses that Israeli security forces frequently use white phosphorus in 155mm artillery shells to fire airbursts in and near populated areas.
Among the trials conducted by F.D.A are the "hang and squeeze" method, in which condoms are filled with water and squeezed for leaks and airbursts.
They actually were looking through "sights." The word, "site" either refers to the location of the piece or battery or a small amount of elevation added to the trajectory to allow for the altitude of airbursts.
(47) The six-inch coast-defense rifles in the Taipale sector were employed like giant shotguns, firing "airbursts of shrapnel" on advancing Russian troops.
On that day, airbursts of profanity sleeted over the sandbank, sending prawns scuttling into deeper water, scattering feeding shorebirds, and scything through the salt flats flora like a claymore mine.
They had come under machine-gun and mortar fire, some of them airbursts, and the braver of their adversaries were creeping into grenade range.
"A great deal of work remains to be done, for example, in computer modelling of impact effects, how airbursts differ from ground strikes, kinetic versus explosive deflection strategies and much more," Gerhard Drolshagen, of the SSA Programme Office said.
A Sandia press release on the monograph quotes Boslough to say, "There's no plausible mechanism to get airbursts over an entire continent.
Additionally, the revolution in accuracy permits planners to target an enemy's hardened nuclear sites using low-yield weapons, set to detonate as airbursts, thereby vastly reducing fallout and collateral damage.