- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for small arm
Among soldiers and small-arm men, to quit the ranks of a company.The Sailor's Word-Book
William Henry Smyth
Not a native clinging to the sides escapes the small-arm men.The Cruise of the Mary Rose
William H. G. Kingston
The small-arm of the infantry is the "3-line" rifle of the 1901 model.
Mr. Walker, with the doctor and supercargo, all capital shots, constituted the marines or small-arm men of the ship.An Old Sailor's Yarns
This meant going out into the open to walk up against machine-gun fire and small-arm fire.From Place to Place
Irvin S. Cobb