assault rifle


: any of various intermediate-range, magazine-fed military rifles (such as the AK-47) that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire
also : a rifle that resembles a military assault rifle but is designed to allow only semiautomatic fire

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The teenager was shot approximately 15 times with an assault rifle, court records state. Ivana Hrynkiw |, al, 25 Apr. 2023 The video then showed the shooter firing on the glass door, entering the building and going through the hallways while holding an assault rifle. Holly Bailey, Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2023 On Wednesday, after the school received more threats, including a photo of an assault rifle, students were sent home early. Jordan Parker, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Mar. 2023 Authorities believe the suspect did not use an assault rifle, but did say witnesses wrestled the weapon out of his possession. Jack Birle, Washington Examiner, 22 Jan. 2023 Schberbakov is known for his monuments and images of war…such as his 2016 model for a monument to Mikhail Kalashnikov, Russia’s designer of the AK-47 assault rifle. Alexandra Bregman, Forbes, 20 Dec. 2022 Ten years ago, Nicole was only 7 and in second grade when a 20-year-old gunman armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, two semi-automatic handguns and an endless supply of ammunition blasted his way into the cozy school through the plate-glass window next to the locked front door. Kc Baker, Peoplemag, 7 Dec. 2022 Why would any clear-thinking adult believe that any private citizen needs an assault rifle? Jane Greenway Carr, CNN, 7 Nov. 2022 As for crime in the nation's capital, hours after the funeral home shooting, D.C. police said two young Black males with an assault rifle were spotted heading southbound toward the Capitol in a Gray BMW X3 bearing MD Tag #1FD7103. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 12 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'assault rifle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1950, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of assault rifle was in 1950

Dictionary Entries Near assault rifle

Cite this Entry

“Assault rifle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2023.

Kids Definition

assault rifle

: any of various especially automatic rifles designed for military use

called also assault weapon

More from Merriam-Webster on assault rifle

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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