See also: Strafe

English edit

Etymology edit

From German strafe (punish) (a conjugated form of strafen), from phrases like "Gott strafe England" ("God punish England") which the British saw during the First World War.[1][2]

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /stɹeɪf/
    • (file)
  • (less commonly also) IPA(key): /stɹɑf/, /stɹæf/
  • Rhymes: -eɪf

Verb edit

strafe (third-person singular simple present strafes, present participle strafing, simple past and past participle strafed)

  1. (transitive, military, aviation) To attack (ground targets) with automatic gunfire from a low-flying aircraft.
  2. (transitive, military, by extension) To rake (a target) with rapid or automatic gunfire.
    • 2021 March 10, Drachinifel, 20:16 from the start, in Guadalcanal Campaign - The Big Night Battle: Night 1 (IJN 3(?) : 2 USN)[1], archived from the original on 17 October 2022:
      Laffey, fresh off from strafing Hiei, ran straight into a quarter of the Japanese navy's remaining destroyers, and, along with Kirishima, between gunfire and another successful Type 93 torpedo strike that tore off the ship's stern, the hapless destroyer was left drifting, ablaze, and would eventually sink.
  3. (intransitive, video games) To sidestep; to move sideways without turning (a core mechanic of most first-person shooters).
    • 1992, id Software, Wolfenstein 3D (game manual), page 4:
      Strafe — Press the Alt key and the left or right Arrow key to slide side to side instead of turning left or right.
    • 2001, Jana Hallford, Swords and circuitry: a designer's guide to computer role playing games:
      If the NPC is close to the player, he may also try using the tried-and-true Quake circle-strafing technique.
    • 2007, Stephen Cawood, Pat McGee, Microsoft XNA Game Studio Creator's Guide:
      A strafe is a side-to-side camera movement. If you're a fan of first-person shooter games, you know how fundamental strafing can be to a game.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Noun edit

strafe (plural strafes)

  1. An attack of machine-gun or cannon fire from a low-flying aircraft.
  2. (video games) A sideways movement without turning.
    • 2004, Marc Saltzman, Game Creation and Careers: Insider Secrets from Industry Experts:
      We also have added a new game control called the "defensive strafe," in which the user can press a button and stay facing forward.

Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ strafe”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–present.
  2. ^ The Handbook of Historical Sociolinguistics (2012, →ISBN)

Anagrams edit

German edit

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit


  1. first-person singular and imperative of strafen