air raid


air raid
air raid (n.) 1914, from AIR (Cf. air) (n.1) + RAID (Cf. raid); originally in reference to British attacks Sept. 22, 1914, on Zeppelin bases at Cologne and Düsseldorf in World War I. The German word is Fliegerangriff "aviator-attack," and if Old English had survived into the 20th century our word instead might be fleogendeongrype.
One didn't dare to inhale for fear of breathing it in. It was the sound of eighteen hundred airplanes approaching Hamburg from the south at an unimaginable height. We had already experienced two hundred or even more air raids, among them some very heavy ones, but this was something completely new. And yet there was an immediate recognition: this was what everyone had been waiting for, what had hung for months like a shadow over everything we did, making us weary. It was the end. [Hans Erich Nossack, "Der Untergang," 1942]

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • air raid — air′ raid n. mil a raid by aircraft, esp. for bombing a particular area • Etymology: 1910–15 air′ raid , adj. air′ raid er, n …   From formal English to slang

  • air raid — air raids N COUNT: oft N on n, N n An air raid is an attack by military aircraft in which bombs are dropped. This expression is usually used by the country or group that is suffering the attack. Compare air strike. The war began with overnight… …   English dictionary

  • air raid — air raid, adj. air raider. a raid by aircraft, esp. for bombing a particular area. [1910 15] * * * …   Universalium

  • air raid — air ,raid noun count an AIR STRIKE …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • air-raid — airˈ raid noun An attack on a place by aircraft • • • Main Entry: ↑air …   Useful english dictionary

  • air raid — n an attack in which bombs are dropped on a place by planes …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • air raid — ► NOUN ▪ an attack in which bombs are dropped from aircraft on to a ground target …   English terms dictionary

  • air raid — n. an attack by aircraft, esp. bombers, against a surface target, as a city …   English World dictionary


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