[ wep-uh n ]
/ ˈwɛp ən /


any instrument or device for use in attack or defense in combat, fighting, or war, as a sword, rifle, or cannon.
anything used against an opponent, adversary, or victim: the deadly weapon of satire.
Zoology. any part or organ serving for attack or defense, as claws, horns, teeth, or stings.

verb (used with object)

to supply or equip with a weapon or weapons: to weapon aircraft with heat-seeking missiles.

Nearby words

  1. wealthy,
  2. wean,
  3. weanedness,
  4. weaner,
  5. weanling,
  6. weapon system,
  7. weaponeer,
  8. weaponize,
  9. weaponry,
  10. weapons carrier

Origin of weapon

before 900; Middle English wepen, Old English wǣpen; cognate with German Waffe, Old Norse vāpn, Gothic wēpna (plural)

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for weapon

British Dictionary definitions for weapon


/ (ˈwɛpən) /


an object or instrument used in fighting
anything that serves to outwit or get the better of an opponenthis power of speech was his best weapon
any part of an animal that is used to defend itself, to attack prey, etc, such as claws, teeth, horns, or a sting
a slang word for penis
Derived Formsweaponed, adjectiveweaponless, adjective

Word Origin for weapon

Old English wǣpen; related to Old Norse vápn, Old Frisian wēpen, Old High German wāffan

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 weapon



Old English wæpen "instrument of fighting and defense," from Proto-Germanic *wæpnan (cf. Old Saxon wapan, Old Norse vapn, Danish vaaben, Old Frisian wepin, Middle Dutch wapen, Old High German waffen, German wafen (neuter), waffe (fem.)), from *webno-m, of unknown origin with no cognates outside Germanic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper