present arms

pre·​sent arms | \ pri-ˈzent- How to pronounce present arms (audio) \

Definition of present arms

1 : a position in the manual of arms in which the rifle is held vertically in front of the body
2 : a command to assume the position of present arms or to give a hand salute

Examples of present arms in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The guards at Schönbrunn were forbidden to present arms and were instructed to look at the ground when her carriage passed. David Netto, Town & Country, "Was This Photo of an Austrian Empress the World's First Paparazzi Photo?," 7 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'present arms.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of present arms

circa 1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for present arms

from the command present arms!

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Time Traveler for present arms

Time Traveler

The first known use of present arms was circa 1884

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Cite this Entry

“Present arms.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

Comments on present arms

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