ar·​til·​lery | \ är-ˈti-lə-rē How to pronounce artillery (audio) , -ˈtil-rē \
plural artilleries

Definition of artillery

1 : weapons (such as bows, slings, and catapults) for discharging missiles
2a : large bore mounted firearms (such as guns, howitzers, and rockets) : ordnance especially : such ordnance that is capable of long-range indirect fire at a target too distant to be seen
b : a branch of an army armed with artillery
3 : a means of impressing, arguing, persuading, or competing … indicated that the Bureau had not rolled out its heavy artillery for a full-scale investigation.— Herbert Mitgang

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Synonyms for artillery


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Examples of artillery in a Sentence

The troops were being bombarded by artillery. a captain in the artillery
Recent Examples on the Web Several companies of marines armed with bayonets and supported by artillery escorted the prisoner to a ship in the harbor that would carry him back to Virginia. Mark Peterson, The New York Review of Books, "‘There Was a Boston Once’," 11 Feb. 2020 In the aftermath of attack, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey had carried out retaliatory air and artillery attacks. Washington Post, "Syrian army kills five Turkish soldiers in rebel-held province, says Turkey," 10 Feb. 2020 In the aftermath of the attack, Erdogan said Turkey had carried out retaliatory air and artillery attacks. Sarah Dadouch,, "Syrian, Turkish soldiers trade deadly strikes in Idlib as residents attempt to flee," 10 Feb. 2020 After earning a bachelor’s degree from The Citadel and a master’s degree from Alabama, Tate served as an artillery officer in the Army from 1964-1969. Ben Thomas |, al, "St. Paul’s track and field ‘icon, legend’ Jim Tate retiring after 42 years at school," 30 Jan. 2020 That’s what makes artillery supply such a vital issue. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Hauling Artillery Is Boring and Dangerous, so the Army Is Bringing In the Robots," 28 Jan. 2020 The largest shareholder in Kamaz is Rostec Corp., which manufactures military-grade rocket launchers, bombs, aircraft, ammunition and high-precision artillery munitions. Kristen Jordan Shamus,, "Paul Whelan and family continue to fight a year after he's accused of spying in Russia," 22 Jan. 2020 The conclusions of the conference that all participants signed also include a pledge to work towards dissolving all armed groups and militias, and the withdrawal of heavy military hardware and artillery from Libya’s territory and airspace. Jessica Donati, WSJ, "World Leaders Agree to Back Cease-Fire in Lengthy Libyan Civil War," 19 Jan. 2020 Mustafa Salim, reporter for the Washington Post, reports the air base was hit with Katyusha rockets, which is a rocket artillery first built and fielded by the Soviet Union in World War II. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "BREAKING: Bombs strike Iraqi military base, wounding at least 4 soldiers," 12 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'artillery.' 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 artillery

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for artillery

Middle English artillerie, from Anglo-French, from artiller to equip, arm, alteration of Old French atillier, from Vulgar Latin *apticulare, from Latin aptare to don, prepare, fit — more at adapt

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Time Traveler for artillery

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The first known use of artillery was in the 15th century

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Statistics for artillery

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Artillery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for artillery


How to pronounce artillery (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of artillery

: large guns that are used to shoot over a great distance
: the part of an army that uses large guns to shoot over a great distance


ar·​til·​lery | \ är-ˈti-lə-rē \

Kids Definition of artillery

1 : large firearms (as cannon or rockets)
2 : a branch of an army armed with artillery

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