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[greyp-shot] /ˈgreɪpˌʃɒt/
a cluster of small cast-iron balls formerly used as a charge for a cannon.
Origin of grapeshot
First recorded in 1740-50; grape + shot1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for grapeshot
Historical Examples
  • That kind of grapeshot which is secured in tiers by parallel iron discs.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • Beside the cannon were stacked canisters of grapeshot and flannel bags of powder.

    Shaman Robert Shea
  • He had been so sure that storm of grapeshot from the Victory would finish off the Indians.

    Shaman Robert Shea
  • Then the Green House struck the door like a salvo of grapeshot.

    The Varmint Owen Johnson
  • I beg your acceptance of an inkstand, made with a Russian grapeshot.

  • Then they would haul off and pour round after round of grapeshot into her.

    Twelve Naval Captains Molly Elliot Seawell
  • The statue of Lille was beheaded, that of Strasbourg pitted by the grapeshot.

  • At Bethesda Church, May 30, 1864, he was wounded in the knee by a grapeshot.

    In The Ranks R. E. McBride
  • Three men were hit by the grapeshot, but beyond this there were no casualties.

    A Roving Commission G. A. Henty
  • War-god Broglie is at work, but grapeshot is good on one condition!

British Dictionary definitions for grapeshot


ammunition for cannons consisting of a canvas tube containing a cluster of small iron or lead balls that scatter after firing
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
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Word Origin and History for grapeshot

also grape-shot, 1747, from grape + shot (n.). So called for its appearance. Originally simply grape, as a collective singular (1680s).


also grape-shot, 1747, from grape + shot (n.). So called for its appearance. The whiff of grapeshot popularized in English from 1837, from Carlyle's history of the French Revolution (in which it was a chapter title).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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