ord·​nance | \ ˈȯrd-nən(t)s How to pronounce ordnance (audio) \

Definition of ordnance

1a : military supplies including weapons, ammunition, combat vehicles, and maintenance tools and equipment bombers dropped heavy concentrations of ordnance on every targeted airfield— Ron Dick
b : a service of the army charged with the procuring, distributing, and safekeeping of ordnance
2 : cannon, artillery Several pieces of ordnance bombarded the entrenched enemy.

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Synonyms for ordnance


artillery, guns

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Examples of ordnance in a Sentence

The company was outfitted with 50-millimeter ordnance. the army is waiting for the heavy ordnance to be brought in

Recent Examples on the Web

Afghanistan is littered with unexploded ordnance left by decades of war. Fox News, "The Latest: Suicide bomb hits Shiite area in Kabul, kills 1," 15 Aug. 2018 Larry Hama was even immortalized as Tunnel Rat, an explosive-ordnance-disposal specialist. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "Yo, Joe: How a 12-Inch Soldier Doll Became a Toy Legend," 9 Apr. 2019 Bombers can also be used in a conventional role, carrying more ordnance farther and deeper into enemy territory than other tactical aircraft. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Does America Still Need the Nuclear Triad?," 23 Jan. 2019 South Boston’s foundry, a rehabbed 19th-century wireworks, originally the Alger Iron Works, specializing in cast-iron ordnance, built by inventor and metallurgist Cyrus Alger and site of the first gun ever rifled in America. Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "The Most Unheralded Berry Is Coming To Your Liquor Cabinet," 28 Dec. 2018 The use of an orange band confirms to the U.S. and NATO standard of marking training ordnance with orange. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Vietnamese Fisherman Drags a Chinese Torpedo Back to Shore," 19 Dec. 2018 Three men in a small inflatable boat approached the ordnance floating in calm waters at about 4:50 p.m., according to live stream from TV stations. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "Unexploded ‘device’ floating near Brownsville Marina – described as a mine – detonated by Navy," 28 Aug. 2018 And in addition to homemade bombs, members have also begun discussing trying to find unexploded World War II ordnance to make improvised explosive devices. Casey Newton, The Verge, "22 predictions for social media in 2019," 15 Dec. 2018 Today, long since retired from deep sea diving and disposing of dangerous ordnance, Steiner has a life that’s about construction, not destruction. Josh Snider, Popular Mechanics, "The Everything Workshop," 4 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ordnance.' 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 ordnance

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ordnance

Middle English ordinaunce, from Anglo-French ordenance disposition, preparation, military provisions — more at ordinance

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Statistics for ordnance

Last Updated

24 May 2019

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Time Traveler for ordnance

The first known use of ordnance was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of ordnance

: military supplies including weapons, ammunition, armor, vehicles, etc.
: large, heavy guns on wheels


ord·​nance | \ ˈȯrd-nəns How to pronounce ordnance (audio) \

Kids Definition of ordnance

1 : military supplies (as guns, ammunition, trucks, and tanks)

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More from Merriam-Webster on ordnance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ordnance

Spanish Central: Translation of ordnance

Nglish: Translation of ordnance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ordnance for Arabic Speakers

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