noun \ˈka-nən\

: a large gun that shoots heavy metal or stone balls and that was once a common military weapon

: a large automatic gun that is shot from an aircraft

plural cannons or cannon

Full Definition of CANNON

plural usually cannon
a :  a large heavy gun usually mounted on a carriage
b :  a heavy-caliber automatic aircraft gun firing explosive shells
or can·on :  the projecting part of a bell by which it is hung :  ear
:  the part of the leg in which the cannon bone is found

Origin of CANNON

Middle English canon, from Anglo-French, from Old Italian cannone, literally, large tube, augmentative of canna reed, tube, from Latin, cane, reed — more at cane
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Weapons and Explosives Terms

automatic, carbine, cudgel, muzzle, rapier

Rhymes with CANNON



: to suddenly and forcefully hit or move into or against someone or something

Full Definition of CANNON

intransitive verb
:  to discharge cannon
transitive verb
:  cannonade

Examples of CANNON

  1. The ball cannoned off the goalpost and into the net.

First Known Use of CANNON


Other Military Terms

bivouac, logistics, petard, salient, sally, supernumerary, tactical

Rhymes with CANNON


biographical name \ˈka-nən\

Definition of CANNON

Joseph Gurney 1836–1926 Uncle Joe Am. polit.


noun \ˈkan-ən\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of CANNON

: the part of the leg in which the cannon bone is found

Illustration of CANNON


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Long-range artillery piece, as distinguished from other big guns such as the howitzer or mortar. Early cannons, appearing in Europe in the 15th century, were smooth-bored and forged of iron, weighed 6,000–8,000 lbs (2,800–3,600 kg) and were loaded through the muzzle. They were mounted on wheeled carriages, which were thrown backward when the cannon was fired. Rifled bores and breechloading were adopted in the later 19th century, and new mechanisms such as the hydraulic buffer absorbed the recoil. Before 1850 ammunition was either cannister, grapeshot, or round, solid cannonballs and black powder, but rifled bores made possible the use of elongated projectiles, which had a longer range. The shrapnel shell was widely used in the 19th–20th century. Modern cannons, of high-grade steel, are towed on split-trail carriages or are mounted on tracked vehicles; a common calibre is 155 mm (6 in.). Many helicopters, airplanes, and naval vessels are equipped with multibarreled, Gatling-type rotary cannons firing 20-mm exploding shells.


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