[am-yuh-nish-uh n]
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  1. the material fired, scattered, dropped, or detonated from any weapon, as bombs or rockets, and especially shot, shrapnel, bullets, or shells fired by guns.
  2. the means of igniting or exploding such material, as primers, fuzes, and gunpowder.
  3. any material, means, weapons, etc., used in any conflict: a crude ammunition of stones.
  4. information, advice, or supplies to help defend or attack a viewpoint, argument, or claim: Give me some ammunition for the debate.
  5. Obsolete. any military supplies.

Origin of ammunition

1620–30; < Middle French amonitions, amunitions (plural) military supplies (a- a-5 + munition < Latin; see munition), or < French la munition, wrongly analyzed as l'amunition Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for ammunition


  1. any projectiles, such as bullets, rockets, etc, that can be discharged from a weapon
  2. bombs, missiles, chemicals, biological agents, nuclear materials, etc, capable of use as weapons
  3. any means of defence or attack, as in an argument

Word Origin for ammunition

C17: from obsolete French amunition, by mistaken division from earlier la munition; see munition
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 ammunition

1620s, from French soldiers' faulty separation of Middle French la munition into l'ammunition; from Latin munitionem (nominative munitio) "a fortifying" (see munition), and at first meaning all military supplies in general. The mistake in the word perhaps was by influence of French a(d)monition "warning." The error was corrected in French (Modern French munition), but retained in English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper