Definition of star shell in English:

star shell

Pronunciation /ˈstär ˌSHel/ /ˈstɑr ˌʃɛl/

noun

  • An explosive projectile designed to burst in the air and light up an enemy's position.

    ‘The lightships would fire at regular intervals a star shell timed to explode at 6440 feet.’
    • ‘The 81 mm was tested in the Caribbean and found to be much more effective in this role than the 3-inch gun firing star shells and could be fired at a higher rate.’
    • ‘By 5.22 pm Scharnhorst was surrounded and illuminated by star shells as heavy guns and torpedoes pounded into her, setting her ablaze end to end.’
    • ‘The Allied ships fired star shells in an attempt to counterattack, but they had been fired at from extremely close range with no warning.’
    • ‘This time the British had a greater technical advantage, using star shells to illuminate the oncoming masses, who were shot down in great numbers.’