Shrapnel refers to the pieces of a bomb, shell, or bullet that has exploded. During wars, many soldiers are treated for shrapnel wounds.

When people are injured or killed by bombs, many of them are hurt by flying shrapnel — sharp, dangerous shards of metal. Shrapnel gets its name from General Henry Shrapnel of the British Army's Royal Artillery, who, during the Peninsular War, invented an exploding shell that broke apart and shattered when it was detonated.

Definitions of shrapnel

n shell containing lead pellets that explodes in flight

Type of:
ammunition consisting of a cylindrical metal casing containing an explosive charge and a projectile; fired from a large gun

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