[ smawl-bawr, -bohr ]

  1. of, noting, or relating to a .22-caliber firearm.

  2. insular or parochial in scope, attitude, etc.: small-bore officials.

Origin of small-bore

First recorded in 1895–1900

Words Nearby small-bore Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use small-bore in a sentence

  • The .256 Mannlichers are splendid for long range shooting, as they carry a small bore bullet and have enormous penetrating power.

    In Africa | John T. McCutcheon
  • Hence an armor-piercing gun should have a large chamber and a comparatively small bore of great length.

  • Of course, the soft ball driven from a small-bore rifle with a light charge of powder was far too weak to penetrate to the vitals.

    The Ivory Child | H. Rider Haggard

British Dictionary definitions for small-bore


  1. (of a firearm) having a small bore, especially one of less than .22 calibre

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