[fahyuh r-ahrm]


a small arms weapon, as a rifle or pistol, from which a projectile is fired by gunpowder.

Origin of firearm

First recorded in 1640–50; fire + arm2
Related formsfire·armed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for firearm

musket, weapon, rifle, pistol, shotgun, revolver, handgun, heat

Examples from the Web for firearm

Contemporary Examples of firearm

Historical Examples of firearm

  • Instead of the report of a firearm, he heard a peal of laughter from both boys.

    The Boy Settlers

    Noah Brooks

  • Yet with a panic at his heart he knew that it was the sharp crack of a firearm.

  • He unslung the firearm, thinking he might have occasion to use it.

  • Just then the report of a firearm was heard, and a bullet whistled by us close to our ears.

    Captain Mugford

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • She had not held a rifle in her hands since marrying Frank, who would not have a firearm in the house.


    Robert Shea

British Dictionary definitions for firearm



a weapon, esp a portable gun or pistol, from which a projectile can be discharged by an explosion caused by igniting gunpowder, etc
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 firearm

1640s, from fire (n.) + arm (n.2). Related: Firearms.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper