car·​bine ˈkär-ˌbēn How to pronounce carbine (audio)
: a short-barreled lightweight firearm originally used by cavalry
: a light short-barreled repeating rifle that is used as a supplementary military arm or for hunting in dense brush

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Robert Zarlenga, a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team, fires his M4 carbine at insurgent forces June 15, 2012, near Joint Security Station Hasan, southern Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Jeremy Hsu, Discover Magazine, 29 Jan. 2015 Most soldiers in a typical nine-person infantry squad, for example, will carry a rifle or carbine. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 21 Apr. 2022 The other weapon was a Kel-Tec SUB2000, a foldable carbine available as a 9 mm or .40 caliber, Covelli said Wednesday. Travis Caldwell And Joe Sutton, CNN, 7 July 2022 At least one of the rifles was a DDM4, made by Daniel Defense and modeled after the U.S. military’s M4 carbine rifle, though without the M4′s ability to switch to fully automatic or fire a three-round burst. Michael R. Sisak, Anchorage Daily News, 28 May 2022 The rifle is modeled after the M4 carbine, the U.S. military’s go-to rifle, according to a Daniel Defense blog post. Todd C. Frankel, Washington Post, 25 May 2022 Combat service support troops, like truck drivers, medical personnel, and others will stick with the M4A1 carbine. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 21 Apr. 2022 In the classic story, Ralphie Parker, who lives in the storied and fictional Hohman, Indiana, remains unswayed in his quest for an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 6 May 2022 The new optic may go on existing M4A1 carbines, but it's primarily intended for the NGSW—Rifle (meant to replace the existing M4A1 carbine) and NGSW—Automatic Rifle (meant to replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon). Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 28 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'carbine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


French carabine, from Middle French carabin carabineer

First Known Use

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of carbine was in 1592

Dictionary Entries Near carbine

Cite this Entry

“Carbine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


car·​bine ˈkär-ˌbēn How to pronounce carbine (audio)
: a light short-barreled rifle

More from Merriam-Webster on carbine

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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