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artillery

[ahr-til-uh-ree]
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noun
  1. mounted projectile-firing guns or missile launchers, mobile or stationary, light or heavy, as distinguished from small arms.
  2. the troops or the branch of an army concerned with the use and service of such weapons.
  3. the science that treats of the use of such weapons.

Origin of artillery

1350–1400; Middle English artil(le)rie, artelry, art(u)ry armaments, ballistic engines < Anglo-French, Middle French artillerie, equivalent to Old French artill(ier) to equip, arm, alteration, by association with art art1, of atill(i)er to set in order, put on armor (< Vulgar Latin *apticulāre, derivative of Latin aptāre to put on (armor, ornaments, etc.; see adapt); -i- for expected -ei- perhaps by association with atirier; see attire) + -erie -ery
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for artillery

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • A grievous error it is to suppose that Cupid's artillery is limited to bow and arrows.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Rain fell in torrents; the crashing thunder was like the roar of artillery.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • They did so, and secured each a lieutenancy in an artillery regiment.

  • The shells from the French artillery on the Roman Road are crashing into the wood.

  • In the centre of the island is an eminence, which was occupied by the garrison, and had some artillery.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper


British Dictionary definitions for artillery

artillery

noun
  1. guns, cannon, howitzers, mortars, etc, of calibre greater than 20 mm
  2. troops or military units specializing in using such guns
  3. the science dealing with the use of guns
  4. devices for discharging heavy missiles, such as catapults or slings

Word Origin

C14: from Old French artillerie, from artillier to equip with weapons, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for artillery

n.

late 14c., "warlike munitions," from Anglo-French artillerie, Old French artillerie (14c.), from artillier "to provide with engines of war" (13c.), which probably is from Medieval Latin articulum "art, skill," diminutive of Latin ars (genitive artis) "art." But some would connect it with Latin articulum "joint," and still others with Old French atillier "to equip," altered by influence of arte. Sense of "engines for discharging missiles" (catapults, slings, bows, etc.) is from late 15c.; that of "ordnance, large guns" is from 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper