artillery


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  1. mounted projectile-firing guns or missile launchers, mobile or stationary, light or heavy, as distinguished from small arms.
  2. the troops or the branch of an army concerned with the use and service of such weapons.
  3. the science that treats of the use of such weapons.

noun

  1. guns, cannon, howitzers, mortars, etc, of calibre greater than 20 mm
  2. troops or military units specializing in using such guns
  3. the science dealing with the use of guns
  4. devices for discharging heavy missiles, such as catapults or slings
n.

late 14c., “warlike munitions,” from Anglo-French artillerie, Old French artillerie (14c.), from artillier “to provide with engines of war” (13c.), which probably is from Medieval Latin articulum “art, skill,” diminutive of Latin ars (genitive artis) “art.” But some would connect it with Latin articulum “joint,” and still others with Old French atillier “to equip,” altered by influence of arte. Sense of “engines for discharging missiles” (catapults, slings, bows, etc.) is from late 15c.; that of “ordnance, large guns” is from 1530s.

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