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90s Slang You Should Know


[awrd-nuh ns] /ˈɔrd nəns/
cannon or artillery.
military weapons with their equipment, ammunition, etc.
the branch of an army that procures, stores, and issues, weapons, munitions, and combat vehicles and maintains arsenals for their development and testing.
Origin of ordnance
First recorded in 1620-30; syncopated variant of ordinance
Can be confused
ordinance, ordnance, ordonnance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ordnance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If you prove a good subject of his Majesty, and supply him with the ordnance, well.

    Sweet Mace George Manville Fenn
  • Then, that done, return to your ordnance and prepare to fire, for the time will be at hand.

    Two Gallant Sons of Devon Harry Collingwood
  • "I'm tired," he murmured as an officer hurried him toward a meeting with the ordnance Section.

    Earth Alert! Kris Neville
  • It encloses four acres, and has a large depot for ordnance, arms, &c.

  • The red-man had only to continue faithful, and the white man would stifle his ordnance.

    The Lily and the Totem William Gilmore Simms
  • A piece of ordnance with a 6-inch bore which carried a 24-lb.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
British Dictionary definitions for ordnance


cannon or artillery
military supplies; munitions
the ordnance, a department of an army or government dealing with military supplies
Word Origin
C14: variant of ordinance
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 ordnance

"cannon, artillery," 1540s, a clipped form of ordinance (q.v.) which was attested from late 14c. in the sense of "military materials, provisions of war;" a sense now obsolete but which led to those of "engines for discharging missiles" (early 15c.) and "branch of the military concerned with stores and materials" (late 15c.). The shorter word was established in these distinct senses by 17c. Ordnance survey (1833), official survey of Great Britain and Ireland, was undertaken by the government under the direction of the Master-General of the Ordnance (a natural choice, because gunners have to be skilled at surveying ranges and distances).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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