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

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 Rebels blasted them with tanks and artillery and snipers. Fox News, "In Yemen's Aden, a generation chewed up and spit out by war," 11 May 2018 The episode took place on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8, when Russian mercenaries mounted an attack using tanks and artillery in an apparent attempt to take an oil-rich area in the eastern Syria province of Deir Ezzour. Michael R. Gordon And Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "Mike Pompeo Promises Not to Be a ‘Yes Man’," 12 Apr. 2018 Since Friday, the Syrian government has intensified its air and artillery strikes on Douma, killing civilians and destroying and damaging civilian infrastructure, the United Nations said. The Washington Post,, "Dozens reportedly killed in apparent chemical attack in Syria," 8 Apr. 2018 The Security Service of Ukraine also claims that Wagner disarmed the Odessa Brigade of the Luhansk People's Republic army after surrounding its base in the city of Krasnodon with the support of tanks and artillery. Owen Matthews, Newsweek, "Putin’s Secret Armies Waged War in Syria—Where Will They Fight Next?," 17 Jan. 2018 Conner, previously injured during his service, volunteered to direct artillery fire. Merdie Nzanga, USA TODAY, "President Trump honors late WWII veteran Garlin Murl Conner with Medal of Honor," 26 June 2018 Civilians fled in terror from artillery fire, only to be herded to checkpoints where many were indiscriminately killed. Jeremy Roebuck,, "Another Liberian in Delco stands trial for alleged role in brutal civil war," 11 June 2018 Two Russians who had been helping to direct Syrian artillery fire were killed during the fighting, and two others died later as a result of wounds suffered during the battle. New York Times,, "At least 4 Russians killed in Syria in firefight with Islamic State," 27 May 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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Phrases Related to artillery

artillery pieces

heavy artillery

Statistics for artillery

Last Updated

12 Oct 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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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).


one that holds something together

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