fire·​arm | \ ˈfī(-ə)r-ˌärm How to pronounce firearm (audio) \

Definition of firearm

: a weapon from which a shot is discharged by gunpowder usually used of small arms

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for firearm


arm, gun, heat [slang], piece, small arm

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of firearm in a Sentence

revolvers, rifles, and other firearms will need a permit to carry a firearm

Recent Examples on the Web

Text at the end of the video delivers stats on gun violence and calls for firearms control. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Paradox of Madonna’s Gun-Control Music Video," 3 July 2019 California is known as the state that took on the tobacco industry, challenged the NRA on firearms restrictions and passed other legislation framed as breakthroughs in safeguarding public health. Patrick Mcgreevy,, "How ‘Big Soda’ used its clout to stop 5 of 5 California laws to regulate sugary drinks," 3 July 2019 In the East Aldine Management District area alone, the sheriff said, authorities received more than 800 calls of firearms discharge within the past year. Houston Chronicle, "Sheriff's deputies focus on Aldine area in combating celebratory gunfire," 2 July 2019 But all share one implicit goal: to normalize firearms ownership and training among liberals. Corey Pein, The New Republic, "Antifa Is Arming Itself Against a Trump Crackdown," 2 July 2019 Jaquarius Hunt, 22, was sentenced Tuesday for reckless endangerment and firearms charges in the September 2017 incident that left as many as 14 bullet casings in and around Morales’ home. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee man sentenced for shooting bullets into home of Police Chief Alfonso Morales," 2 July 2019 Moore-Baker's announcement came a day after Louisville Metro Police warned residents to lock their vehicles and keep their firearms indoors so they aren't used in homicides. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "After spate of shootings, anti-violence 'prayer walks' called off in Louisville," 28 June 2019 For example, most Democrats support universal background checks for firearms purchases, an idea that’s broadly popular with the public. Anthony Man,, "Democratic presidential candidates salute Parkland activism, call for gun restrictions," 27 June 2019 Licensed firearms sellers would be required to hand out the pamphlet to each person purchasing a gun. Jessie Balmert,, "How a one-page pamphlet on gun laws derailed permitless concealed carry – for now," 25 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of firearm

1643, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about firearm

Statistics for firearm

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for firearm

The first known use of firearm was in 1643

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for firearm



English Language Learners Definition of firearm

: a small gun


fire·​arm | \ ˈfīr-ˌärm How to pronounce firearm (audio) \

Kids Definition of firearm

: a weapon from which a shot is discharged by gunpowder
Hint: Firearm is usually used for a small weapon.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on firearm

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


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!