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small arm

Usually, small arms. a firearm designed to be held in one or both hands while being fired: in the U.S. the term is applied to weapons of a caliber of up to one inch (2.5 cm).
Origin of small arm
First recorded in 1680-90
Related forms
small-armed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for small arms
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Meanwhile the crew had been recharging the battery and reloading the small arms.

    Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer Cyrus Townsend Brady
  • If they should try to board in a calm, trust to the small arms to hold them off.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • A volley of small arms was much more likely to do the business some day—or night.

    The Arrow of Gold Joseph Conrad
  • She folded her small arms defiantly and glared angrily at her brother.

    The New Land

    Elma Ehrlich Levinger
  • The small arms were loaded, and every man stood with his naked knife in his belt.

    Sir Ludar Talbot Baines Reed
British Dictionary definitions for small arms

small arms

plural noun
portable firearms of relatively small calibre
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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