ar·​til·​lery | \ är-ˈti-lər-ē 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
b : a branch of an army armed with artillery
3 : a means of impressing, arguing, or 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


guns, ordnance

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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

Meanwhile, a detachment of parachutists attacked the de Valleville farm, where the Germans had stationed an artillery battery. Ron Grossman,, "‘I’d like to volunteer, sir’: Memories of D-Day live on through oral histories," 5 June 2019 After Navy warships used their big guns to wipe out the German coastal defenses, his artillery group in the 29th Infantry Division would come ashore at Omaha Beach. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, "D-Day still calls to them, 75 years later," 4 June 2019 There were 85 enemy machine gun nests, 35 rocket launching sites, 18 antitank guns, four artillery batteries, and 35 pillboxes, historian Cornelius Ryan wrote. The Washington Post,, "D-Day veteran wonders why he lived when so many others died," 3 June 2019 Like artillery the drones can destroy targets beyond traditional line of sight and kill from above. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This New Armored Vehicle Can Launch a Swarm of Killer Drones," 16 May 2019 England's posher automakers seem to be engaged in an artillery duel. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "The 2020 McLaren GT Is a Mid-Engined Supercar Built for Luxurious Grand Touring," 15 May 2019 Pepper corns, cowry shells used in the slave trade and bronze artillery pieces litter the wreck site. James Rogers, Fox News, "Stunning shipwreck discovery: 400-year-old wreck thrills experts," 25 Sep. 2018 In order to have a meaningful peace treaty, Klingner said, North Korea not only has to give up its nuclear arsenal and infrastructure, but also remove thousands of artillery pieces, and a huge army, from near the border. Barbara Demick,, "Ending the Korean War will take more than the Singapore summit," 10 June 2018 Analysts say that over the last decade, the Kremlin has poured resources into airborne, artillery, armored and electronic-warfare forces. Laura King,, "Poland sees opportunity and peril in NATO summit and Trump-Putin meeting," 9 July 2018

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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Statistics for artillery

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for artillery

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

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More Definitions for artillery



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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Comments on artillery

What made you want to look up artillery? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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