Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[muhs-kit] /ˈmʌs kɪt/
a heavy, large-caliber smoothbore gun for infantry soldiers, introduced in the 16th century: the predecessor of the modern rifle.
the male sparrow hawk, Accipiter nisus.
Origin of musket
1580-90; < Middle French mousquet < Italian moschetto crossbow arrow, later musket, orig. kind of hawk, equivalent to mosch(a) fly (< Latin musca) + -etto -et Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for musket
Historical Examples
  • In spite of the wound he seized the musket and forcibly wrested it from our hero.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Those are not Sniders they carry--don't know that kind of musket.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • All those who could bear a musket were gone to meet the invasion.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • There are six thousand men of a sort in the camp, but not one in five carries a musket.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • You were not hit by the bullet from the redcoat's musket, Dick?

    The Dare Boys of 1776 Stephen Angus Cox
  • A jerk of the whole ship was followed by a report like that made by a musket.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • Before he could regain it, a Spaniard charged at him with a musket, and threw him back.

  • Take up your musket at once, or you will have me to deal with!

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • I may carry my musket in the ranks, but I'll not surrender my birthright!'

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
  • But Warren still declined, took a musket, and fought with the men.

    The Siege of Boston Allen French
British Dictionary definitions for musket


a long-barrelled muzzle-loading shoulder gun used between the 16th and 18th centuries by infantry soldiers
Word Origin
C16: from French mousquet, from Italian moschetto arrow, earlier: sparrow hawk, from moscha a fly, from Latin musca
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for musket

"firearm for infantry" (later replaced by the rifle), 1580s, from Middle French mousquette, also the name of a kind of sparrow-hawk, diminutive of mosca "a fly," from Latin musca (see midge). The hawk so called either for its size or because it looks speckled when in flight. Early firearms often were given names of beasts (cf. dragoon), and the equivalent word in Italian was used to mean "an arrow for a crossbow." The French word was borrowed earlier into English (early 15c.) in its literal sense of "sparrow-hawk."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for musket

Word Value for musket

Scrabble Words With Friends