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


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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 In 10-percent ordnance gelatin, this bullet will penetrate as deep as two feet, and the front portion will expand to twice the width of the unfired bullet. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "The 6 Best Big-Game Loads for the .308 Winchester," 25 Dec. 2020 Stone served in the Army from 1939 to 1965 and was an ordnance officer during World War II. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Laurence A. Stone, 98, retired Army colonel," 1 May 2013 Those of you paying attention to the porous membrane between civilian and military ordnance have seen evidence of this Army squad-weapon project in the commercial space. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, "In the Future: Your Deer Cartridge Will Be Plastic," 7 Oct. 2020 Hovering over a target—an ISIS training camp where a surveillance drone had confirmed the presence of more than a hundred fighters—the pilot’s superiors had cleared him to drop his ordnance and return to his carrier. Elliott Ackerman, Wired, "A Navy SEAL, a Quadcopter, and a Quest to Save Lives in Combat," 30 Oct. 2020 Healy has been serving in the Navy for 23 years and was previously an explosive ordnance disposal officer. Staff Reports, NOLA.com, "Book sale in New Orleans, biking in Jefferson and more metro-area community news," 14 Oct. 2020 Over time, the company provided products for horse drawn carriages, automotive components and equipment for the mining, railroad, fluid control and ordnance industries. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, "Multiple fire companies battle blaze at historic steel plant in Southington," 10 Oct. 2020 One of Ferguson’s clients, an explosive ordnance disposal technician 1st class, was attached to both Gallagher’s and Enayat’s platoons and was on initial witness lists in both cases. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Five sailors granted immunity to testify in San Diego Navy SEAL sexual assault trial," 6 Oct. 2020 Magawa has discovered 39 land mines and 28 pieces of unexploded ordnance, and helped clear more than 1.5 million square feet of land over the past four years. Anna Schaverien, New York Times, "Rat That Sniffs Out Land Mines Receives Award for Bravery," 25 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for ordnance

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ordnance

Last Updated

31 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ordnance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ordnance. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for ordnance


How to pronounce ordnance (audio)

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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