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1. the bomb
a. a hydrogen or atomic bomb considered as the ultimate destructive weapon
b. Slang something excellent
2. a round or pear-shaped mass of volcanic rock, solidified from molten lava that has been thrown into the air
3. Med a container for radioactive material, applied therapeutically to any part of the body
4. American football a very long high pass
5. (in rugby union) another term for up-and-under
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) An archaic name for an artillery projectile. In smoothbore artillery the term “bomb” or “grenade” refers to a projectile consisting of a spherical, hollow, castiron body, a black powder charge, and a wooden tube with a compressed powder compound. The bomb charge would explode after the time train was ignited. From the 19th century in Russian artillery, projectiles with a mass of more than 1 pood (16 kg) were called bombs. This term was kept for high explosive shells in rifled artillery of calibers of 122 mm and higher. In the beginning of the 1930’s the term “bomb” was dropped from artillery terminology.

(2) Aerial bombs, one of the types of aviation ammunition.

(3) A projectile for destroying submarines underwater.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about a bomb?

A bomb is quite an attention-getter if it goes off in a dream. Perhaps a situation is becoming too explosive and the dreamer needs to tread carefully to avoid “land mines.” Alternatively, perhaps the dreamer is so tightly wound because of some situation that he or she feels ready to explode.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


(computer science)
Any large (greater than 64 millimeters) pyroclast ejected while viscous.
An explosive or other lethal agent, together with its container or holder, which is planted or thrown by hand, dropped from an aircraft, or projected by some other slow-speed device (such as a mortar) and used to destroy, damage, injure, or kill.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Laser-guided bomb.
A conventional free-fall bomb.
An explosive or other lethal agent together with its container or holder, which is dropped from an aircraft and used to destroy, damage, kill, or injure. The bombs can be high-explosive, armorpiercing, semi-armor piercing, runway denial, incendiary, or any such combinations. Also, similar objects in appearance, effect, and operation, such as a leaflet bomb, smoke bomb, photoflash bomb, or practice bomb.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


General synonym for crash except that it is not used as a noun. Especially used of software or OS failures. "Don't run Empire with less than 32K stack, it'll bomb".


(operating system)
Atari ST and Macintosh equivalents of a Unix "panic" or Amiga guru, in which icons of little black-powder bombs or mushroom clouds are displayed, indicating that the system has died. On the Macintosh, this may be accompanied by a decimal (or occasionally hexadecimal) number indicating what went wrong, similar to the Amiga guru meditation number. MS-DOS computers tend to lock up in this situation.


A piece of code embedded in a program that remains dormant until it is triggered. Logic bombs are triggered by an event whereas time bombs are triggered either after a set amount of time has elapsed, or when a specific date is reached.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


(ABnormal END) Pronounced "ab-end." An abend is an unexpected termination that causes the computer, smartphone or tablet to stop responding. The abend occurs either when the processor is presented with instructions or data it cannot recognize, or a program tries to address memory beyond a defined boundary. Abends are generally the result of erroneous software logic in the application or operating system (see anomaly).

Crash, Freeze, Lock Up and Hang
A "crash" occurs when the computer issues a "fault" and deliberately halts that line of execution. The terms "freeze," "lock up" or "hang" may refer to software that is actually still running but has erroneously wound up in an endless, internal loop that renders the program useless. In practice, the terms "crash," "freeze," "lock up" and "hang" are used synonymously. See infinite loop.

Bad Hardware Can Look Like Bad Software
A serious hardware failure will stop a computer-based device that has no redundant components. For example, a short circuit on the motherboard will halt the operation; however, a failing memory cell can cause an instruction to point to an erroneous location, making it look like a software failure.

It Depends on the OS
If the abend occurs due to a bug in an application and the operating system is not resilient, the computer locks up and has to be rebooted. Modern operating systems attempt to halt only the offending application and allow the remaining applications to continue. As operating systems evolve through the years, they are more tolerant of application bugs. However, operating systems themselves are not 100% foolproof, and bad applications can cause operating systems to crash; a major motivation for running in a virtual mode (see virtualization and virtual machine).

A Miracle It All Works
If you consider what goes on inside a computer, you might wonder why it does not crash more often. An ordinary home computer can easily have 64 billion memory (RAM) cells. Every second, millions of them switch their status between charged and uncharged (1 to 0; 0 to 1). If only one cell fails, it can cause an instruction to be invalid, and an abend can occur. See head crash, GPF, active area and transistor concept.

The green blocks are machine instructions executed by the CPU one after the other until a branch (jump) instruction breaks the sequence and points to an instruction elsewhere in the program. Abending (crashing, hanging, etc.) occurs when the program erroneously points outside of its address space, typically due to bad logic.

logic bomb

A program routine that destroys data when certain conditions are met; for example, it may reformat the hard disk or insert random bits into data files on a certain date or if a particular employee record is missing from the employee database. Many viruses are logic bombs because they deliver their payload after a specific latency or when a trigger event occurs. See virus, latency and payload.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Taliban militants and other militants including ISIL often use improvised explosive device as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces and government officials.
According to investigative officials, the student admitted that he was planning to activate the explosive device within school hours in the courtyard. 
Terrorist al-Raso also confessed that Kanjo gave her an explosive device and told her to put it in the vicinity of al-Baath University for SYP 200,000, adding that when she arrived she noticed the massive movement of citizens and felt that she could be discovered, so she moved to Ekrimah neighborhood to try to plant the IED there, but one of the citizens saw her and informed the authorities, then a patrol near the site came and arrested her and the explosive device was dismantled.
A preliminary inspection of the site indicated the individual killed himself by accident while planting the explosive device, according to the statement.
26, the Ministry of Interior announced that the security apparatus foiled an attempt to detonate an explosive device near the German Embassy in Sana'a.
The government's detention memo further states that "Zazi remained committed to detonating an explosive device up until the date of his arrest, as exemplified by among other things, traveling overseas to receive bomb-making instructions, conducting extensive research on the internet regarding components of explosive devices, purchasing -- on multiple occasions -- the components necessary to produce TATP [Triacetone Triperoxide] and other explosive devices, and traveling to New York City on September 10, 2009 in furtherance of the criminal plan." In a statement, the Justice Department said it will seek to have Zazi transferred from the District of Colorado to New York to be arraigned on the charge in the Brooklyn indictment.
The IED industry forum comes days after DoD gave permanent status to the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Task Force and represents another step in the ongoing counter-IED effort.
While it's unwise to diminish the capacity for death and mayhem represented by improvised explosive devices in the hands of actual terrorists, it appears that the Bush administration's definition of WMDs includes any weapon of any sort employed by any nation or group the federal government considers a threat.
"The Federal Security Service has exposed a clandestine cell of the Islamic State [ISIL] international terrorist organization, whose members were following orders by ISIL emissaries based in Syria, planning to use firearms and improvised explosive devices to carry out high-impact terrorist attacks in the Rostov region," the FSB said.
PESHAWAR/CHARSADDA -- The police and security forces recovered suicide jackets and improvised explosive devices in Peshawar and Charsadda areas on Wednesday.
Homs, SANA- Engineering units in the army dismantled a number of explosive devices which were planted by terrorists in the western countryside of Homs.