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 Despite multiple cleanups, unexploded ordnance has been found in the area. Martina Schimitschek, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Tierrasanta: ‘Island in the Hills’ is big on parkland, trails," 30 June 2019 But any duds would leave an area littered with unexploded ordnance, something that's happened to London before. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "What Are Airports Going to Do About Drones?," 9 Jan. 2019 Best’s dive bomber dropped the ordnance that reportedly doomed the Japanese carrier Akagi during the Battle of Midway, and he is credited with playing a major role in the sinking of the Hiryu that same day. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland, "New ‘Midway’ tells the story of the U.S.-Japan battle from the viewpoints of those who fought it," 6 Nov. 2019 Seal Beach’s primary missions are to store ordnance for the Navy and Marine Corps, load and unload ammunition and maintain weapons on warships departing San Diego. Daniel Langhorne, Daily Pilot, "Navy awards $154 million construction contract to modernize Seal Beach base," 5 Sep. 2019 Both the rebels and the regime violated the terms of the truce, lobbing ordnance and explosive drones at each other. The Economist, "Syria’s war is drawing to a close. But the pain will go on," 5 Sep. 2019 Some of these responders would include specialists like explosive ordnance disposal experts and combat engineers who can break into fortified areas seized by enemies. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Could Someone Actually Steal a U.S. Nuke?," 25 Oct. 2019 The grenade in the shadow box was inert, but the other was believed to be a live military ordnance. USA TODAY, "Baby elephant, cougars, dognapper, burning treehouse: News from around our 50 states," 24 Oct. 2019 James Johnston, an explosive ordnance disposal specialist, had been killed along with a Green Beret on June 25 in Uruzgan Province in south-central Afghanistan. San Diego Union-Tribune, "A tribute to war widow’s fallen husband, and a baby shower," 7 Oct. 2019

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

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

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Statistics for ordnance

Last Updated

1 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ordnance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ordnance. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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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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