musket

[ muhs-kit ]
/ ˈmʌs kɪt /

noun

a heavy, large-caliber smoothbore gun for infantry soldiers, introduced in the 16th century: the predecessor of the modern rifle.
the male sparrow hawk, Accipiter nisus.

RELATED WORDS

Origin of musket

1580–90; < Middle French mousquet < Italian moschetto crossbow arrow, later musket, orig. kind of hawk, equivalent to mosch(a) fly (< Latin musca) + -etto -et
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for musket

musket

/ (ˈmʌskɪt) /

noun

a long-barrelled muzzle-loading shoulder gun used between the 16th and 18th centuries by infantry soldiers

Word Origin for musket

C16: from French mousquet, from Italian moschetto arrow, earlier: sparrow hawk, from moscha a fly, from Latin musca
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 musket

musket


n.

"firearm for infantry" (later replaced by the rifle), 1580s, from Middle French mousquette, also the name of a kind of sparrow-hawk, diminutive of mosca "a fly," from Latin musca (see midge). The hawk so called either for its size or because it looks speckled when in flight. Early firearms often were given names of beasts (cf. dragoon), and the equivalent word in Italian was used to mean "an arrow for a crossbow." The French word was borrowed earlier into English (early 15c.) in its literal sense of "sparrow-hawk."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper