fire·​arm | \ˈfī(-ə)r-ˌärm \

Definition of firearm 

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

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Synonyms for firearm


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

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Examples of firearm in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

And if the cost of human lives isn't enough to convince you, the 2015 study also found that firearm injuries result in $48 billion worth of hospital costs and work lost every year, the vast majority of which is attributed to fatal injuries. Korin Miller, SELF, "6 Reasons These Doctors Are So Outspoken About Gun Violence," 14 Nov. 2018 Tactical bags designed for firearms are durable and padded, making them perfect for precious makeup. Amber Kallor, Allure, "How Lottie Went From Being an Accountant to an A-List Makeup Artist," 20 Sep. 2018 Their surprising split culminated in a shocking confrontation last May when Tarek ran from their Orange County, California, home holding a firearm. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know On How Flip Or Flop Came To Be, According To Tarek El Moussa," 24 Aug. 2018 For now, those mills produce only a few different gun frames for firearms, including the AR-15 and 1911 handguns. Adam Fisher, WIRED, "A Landmark Legal Shift Opens Pandora’s Box for DIY Guns," 10 July 2018 After obtaining a search warrant police found additional firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, heroin/fentanyl residue, packaging materials, a digital scale, drug paraphernalia and hypodermic syringes, according to the sheriff’s department. Amanda Marrazzo, McHenry County, "Crystal Lake man charged with drug-induced homicide in McHenry County death," 22 June 2018 Zachary Houle, 23, was charged with offenses including possession of cannabis with intent to deliver and possession of a firearm without a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card, according to police. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "Brothers charged with drug offenses following search of home in unincorporated Orland Township," 14 June 2018 After Bolatete's arrest in December, prosecutors say FBI agents found a significant collection of firearms and ammunition during a search of Bolatete's home and car. Fox News, "Man accused of planning Florida mosque shooting gets 5 years," 18 Sep. 2018 In America, many state and local law enforcement agencies do not mandate de-escalation training for cops, and police academies are spending an estimated 110 hours training recruits on firearms and self-defense, according to Vox. Lincoln Anthony Blades, Teen Vogue, "How Policing in the U.S. and Security in Israel Are Connected," 16 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of firearm

1643, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for firearm

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for firearm

The first known use of firearm was in 1643

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More Definitions for firearm



English Language Learners Definition of firearm

: a small gun


fire·​arm | \ˈfīr-ˌärm \

Kids Definition of firearm

: a weapon from which a shot is discharged by gunpowder

Hint: Firearm is usually used for a small weapon.

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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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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