Minié ball

[min-ee, min-ee-ey; French mee-nyey]


a conical bullet with a hollow base that expanded when fired, used in the 19th century.

Origin of Minié ball

1855–60; named after C. E. Minié (1814–79), French officer who invented it Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for minie ball

Historical Examples of minie ball

  • He had been killed by a minie-ball squarely through his forehead.

    War from the Inside

    Frederick L. (Frederick Lyman) Hitchcock

  • He was hit by a minie-ball in the left shoulder, just below the collar-bone.

    War from the Inside

    Frederick L. (Frederick Lyman) Hitchcock

  • Now, for the first time, I heard the keen whistle of the Minie-ball.

  • It was only some of the bark of the tree, which had been dusted into my face by a minie-ball.

    The Boy Spy

    Joseph Kerby

  • There my tent-mate was wounded by a minie-ball; I was standing by his side when he was hit.

    The Empty Sleeve

    Henry H. Meacham

British Dictionary definitions for minie ball

Minié ball


a conical rifle bullet, used in the 19th century, manufactured with a hollow base designed to expand when fired to fit the rifling

Word Origin for Minié ball

C19: named after Capt C. E. Minié (1814–1879), French army officer who invented it
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 minie ball

kind of rifle bullet, 1853, named for its inventor, French army officer Claude-Étienne Minié (1814-1879), who designed it 1847-8.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper