A sudden, overwhelming military attack during war is a blitz. Sometimes a major blitz can lead to the end of a conflict.

The idea of a blitz is that it either overpowers or completely surprises the enemy, and it often involves bombing from overheard. The military use of blitz has migrated to sports as well, especially in American football when the defense bursts through the offense or rushes the passer. Any kind of unexpected attack, in fact, has come to be known as a blitz. The word comes from the German Blitzkrieg, "rapid attack."

Definitions of blitz

n a swift and violent military offensive with intensive aerial bombardment

Type of:
attack, onrush, onset, onslaught
(military) an offensive against an enemy (using weapons)

n (American football) defensive players try to break through the offensive line

linebacker blitzing, safety blitz
Type of:
maneuver, manoeuvre, play
a deliberate coordinated movement requiring dexterity and skill

v attack suddenly and without warning

“Hitler blitzed Poland”
Type of:
assail, attack
launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities or start warfare with

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.