ar·​til·​lery | \är-ˈti-lər-ē, -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 : means of impressing, arguing, or persuading

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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

The two detained ships were traveling to the Sea of Azov to reinforce two other armored artillery vessels stationed there. Farnaz Fassihi, WSJ, "Haley Calls Russia Reckless in Tense Standoff With Ukraine," 26 Nov. 2018 Inside the coalition section of the garrison, bombed-out concrete structures, precariously held up by leaning columns scarred by artillery blasts, provided a grim reminder of earlier fights to take the outpost back from IS control. Lolita C. Baldor, The Seattle Times, "US general visits troops fighting Islamic State in Syria," 22 Oct. 2018 Seoul, South Korea’s capital, would soon — if not already — lie in ruins due to North Korea’s large artillery capabilities. Alex Ward, Vox, "This is exactly how a nuclear war would kill you," 19 Oct. 2018 Given the threat North Korean artillery poses to Seoul, this is an imminently reasonable, prudent and effective approach for Mr. Moon to take. WSJ, "South Korea’s Different Take on North Korea," 26 Sep. 2018 If war breaks out, my parents’ home in Seoul is in easy striking distance of North Korean artillery, and my brother and other military reservists would be called up to fight. Victoria Kim,, "I grew up in striking distance of North Korea’s artillery. Covering Kim's summit with Trump was sobering and personal.," 13 June 2018 Analysts reckon that North Korean artillery can bombard Seoul, the South Korean capital, with 10,000 rounds a minute. The Economist, "The next warThe growing danger of great-power conflict," 25 Jan. 2018 Under heavy fire, Jonas's regiment advanced without artillery support, rest or food. Special To The Oregonian,, "Memorial Day 2018: Remembering two peace-loving Oregon boys who died in France," 28 May 2018 Like assaults on other opposition redoubts in the past, the heavy air and artillery strikes have already uprooted tens of thousands of people in recent days according to the U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator’s office. Nabih Bulos,, "King Abdullah II of Jordan faces economic woes and other issues as he promotes 'peace-affirming Islam'," 27 June 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

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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