grape·​shot ˈgrāp-ˌshät How to pronounce grapeshot (audio)
: an antipersonnel weapon consisting of a cluster of small iron balls shot from a cannon

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Wallis fired his guns at a promontory overlooking Matavai Bay, raining shrapnel and grapeshot on a crowd of angry onlookers. Hampton Sides, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Sep. 2021 He was wounded at the Battle of Savannah in 1779, hit by grapeshot in a charge, and perished. Frank Fellone, Arkansas Online, 28 Nov. 2020 But while Laurens’ troops set up their howitzer artillery, a large-caliber cannon with a short barrel built to fire clusters of grapeshot, the British spotted them, according to a SCBPT statement. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Aug. 2020 This hint to elevate the breeches of their guns was acted on and a volley of grapeshot fired into Captain Taylor’s boat, defeated his bold plan of capture, and wounded him for life. Nancy Stearns Theiss, The Courier-Journal, 23 Dec. 2017 Early in the war, his left arm was shattered by grapeshot and amputated, but that didn't stop him, as Sears relates. Patrick T. Reardon,, 27 Apr. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'grapeshot.' 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

1745, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of grapeshot was in 1745

Dictionary Entries Near grapeshot

Cite this Entry

“Grapeshot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


grape·​shot ˈgrāp-ˌshät How to pronounce grapeshot (audio)
: small iron balls formerly fired at short range from a cannon against people (as soldiers or rioters)

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