boom (v.)

mid-15c., bomben, bummyn, "buzz, hum, drone, make a deep, hollow, continuous sound" (earliest use was for bees and wasps), probably echoic of humming. The meaning "make a loud noise, roar, rumble, reverberate" is from 15c. Compare bomb. Meaning "to burst into prosperity" (of places, businesses, etc.) is 1871, American English. Related: Boomed; booming. Boom box "large portable stereo cassette player" first attested 1978.

boom (n.1)

"long pole," 1640s, specifically, "long spar run out from a ship" (1660s), from Scottish boun, borrowed from Dutch boom "tree, pole, beam," from a Middle Dutch word analogous to German Baum, English beam (n.). As "movable bar for a microphone or camera," 1931.

boom (n.2)

"loud, deep, hollow, continued sound," c. 1500, from boom (v.). Compare boondi Aboriginal word for waves breaking on a beach (source of Sydney's Bondi Beach), said to be imitative of the sound.

boom (n.3)

"sudden start or increase in commercial or other activity," 1873, sometimes said to be from boom (n.1) in the specific nautical meaning "a long spar run out to extend the foot of a sail" -- a ship "booming" being one in full sail. But it could just as well be from boom (n.2) on the notion of "sudden burst." The verbal sense "burst into sudden activity" seems to be slightly older (1871). Boom town is from 1883. The economic cycle of boom and bust has been so called since 1937.

updated on October 12, 2017

Definitions of boom from WordNet
boom (v.)
make a resonant sound, like artillery;
His deep voice boomed through the hall
Synonyms: din
boom (v.)
hit hard;
Synonyms: smash / nail / blast
boom (v.)
be the case that thunder is being heard;
Synonyms: thunder
boom (v.)
make a deep hollow sound;
Her voice booms out the words of the song
Synonyms: boom out
boom (v.)
grow vigorously;
business is booming
Synonyms: thrive / flourish / expand
boom (n.)
a deep prolonged loud noise;
Synonyms: roar / roaring / thunder
boom (n.)
a state of economic prosperity;
boom (n.)
a sudden happening that brings good fortune (as a sudden opportunity to make money);
the demand for testing has created a boom for those unregulated laboratories where boxes of specimen jars are processed like an assembly line
Synonyms: bonanza / gold rush / gravy / godsend / manna from heaven / windfall / bunce
boom (n.)
a pole carrying an overhead microphone projected over a film or tv set;
Synonyms: microphone boom
boom (n.)
any of various more-or-less horizontal spars or poles used to extend the foot of a sail or for handling cargo or in mooring;
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.