ar·​se·​nal | \ ˈärs-nəl How to pronounce arsenal (audio) , ˈär-sə- \

Definition of arsenal

1a : an establishment for the manufacture or storage of arms and military equipment The city is home to a federal arsenal.
b : a collection of weapons
2 : store, repertoire the team's arsenal of veteran players

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Synonyms for arsenal


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Examples of arsenal in a Sentence

The city is home to a federal arsenal. Doctors have a broad arsenal of medicines to choose from. the team's arsenal of veteran players
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Recent Examples on the Web Analysts said the barrage appears aimed at intimidating Israel by showcasing Hamas’s expanded arsenal and testing the Iron Dome system. Washington Post, "What weapons do Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have and how powerful are they?," 13 May 2021 Either way, your hair arsenal will appreciate these stellar strand savers. Pamela Edwards Chrisitiani, Essence, "Best in Black Beauty: The Best Products And Tools For Black Hair," 5 May 2021 Cole Irvin carries more to the mound than a glove and four-pitch arsenal. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, "A's Cole Irvin pitching with 'a chip on my shoulder'," 5 May 2021 From the best way to reduce the appearance of wrinkles to most robust brightening and resurfacing masks, here skin-care pros share the best strategies and ways to build your arsenal for an ageless complexion. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The Best Skin Care for Women Over 50, According to Industry Pros," 3 May 2021 Throughout her life, Dukakis was nobody’s idea of an inward presence; her voice, so expressively weathered and rumbly, was a key weapon in her performer’s arsenal. Michael Phillips,, "Olympia Dukakis remembered: A life in the theater, and then ‘Moonstruck’ made her famous," 2 May 2021 That will mean making the case for the Air Force taking some of the budget from another service, such as the Army, which is recalibrating its combat arsenal to play a land role in the Indo-Pacific. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "Biden’s Air Force picks would inherit weapon programs in 'dire' shape," 2 May 2021 On Friday, his full arsenal was on display and the most impressive aspect was the Celtics needed every one of his points., "Still doubting Jayson Tatum? ‘That boy is destined for greatness,’ and his historic night in win over Spurs proves it," 1 May 2021 Both approaches failed​, and North Korea has kept expanding its arsenal. New York Times, "North Korea Warns Biden Against ‘Hostile Policy’," 1 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arsenal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arsenal

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for arsenal

earlier, "dockyard for the construction and repair of naval vessels," borrowed from Middle French archenal, arsenail, arsenal (in reference to the naval dockyard of Venice), borrowed (with conformation of the final to -al -al entry 2) from Upper Italian (Venice) arzanà, presumably alteration (by metanalysis, with the initial taken as the preposition d', di "from") of darsenà (attested in Genoese, earlier in Medieval Latin as darsena, darsana), borrowed from Arabic dār al-ṣināʽa "place of manufacture," from dār "house" + al "the" (assimilated to aṣ) + ṣināʽa "manufacture" (derivative of ṣanaʽa "to make")

Note: Forms with final -ale (as arsenale, arzanale, arzenale) are attested in Italian in the sixteenth century and may be the immediate source of the English word. The French forms with -al may reflect these, though attested about a century earlier. As arzanà the Venetian word is attested in the text of Dante's Inferno ("nell'arzanà de' Viniziani," XXI, 7).

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The first known use of arsenal was in 1555

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Last Updated

16 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Arsenal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for arsenal



English Language Learners Definition of arsenal

: a collection of weapons
: a place where weapons are made or stored
: a group of things or people that are available to be used


ar·​se·​nal | \ ˈärs-nəl How to pronounce arsenal (audio) , ˈär-sə- \

Kids Definition of arsenal

: a place where military equipment is made and stored

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