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Category: Term of the day

A bomb is an explosive device that generates and releases its energy very rapidly.

The explosion creates a violent, very destructive shock wave. Bombs cause destruction and injury to objects and living things within the blast radius by the crushing action of the shockwave (pressure) and by mechanical impact of fragments, including shards of the bomb casing (often called "shrapnel") or objects from the surrounding area propelled by the blast. Bombs have been used for centuries in both conventional and unconventional warfare. Most bombs do not contain more energy than ordinary fuel, except in the case of a nuclear weapon.

The word comes from the Greek word βόμβος (bombos), an onomatopoetic term with approximately the same meaning as "boom" in English.

Bombs are first and foremost weapons; the term "bomb" is not usually applied to explosive devices used for civilian purposes, such as construction or mining, although the people using the devices may sometimes refer to them as bombs. Many military explosive devices are not called "bombs". The military mostly calls airdropped, unpowered explosive weapons "bombs," and such bombs are normally used by air forces and naval aviation. Other military explosive devices are called grenades, shells, depth charges (used in water), warheads when in missiles, or land mines.

Experts commonly distinguish between civilian and military bombs. The latter are almost always mass-produced weapons, developed and constructed to a standard design out of standard components and intended to be deployed in a standard way each time. By contrast, civilian bombs are usually custom-made, developed to any number of designs, use a wide range of explosives of varying levels of power and chemical stability, and are used in many different ways. For this reason, they are generally referred to as improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

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