• synonyms

small arm

  1. 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).
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Origin of small arm

First recorded in 1680–90
Related formssmall-armed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for small arm

Historical Examples

  • 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

    Nathaniel Ames

  • 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