small arm

noun

Definition of small arm

: a handheld firearm (such as a handgun or shoulder arm) usually used in plural

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for small arm

Synonyms

arm, firearm, gun, heat [slang], piece

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of small arm in a Sentence

the soldiers keep their small arms securely in their holsters when not on patrol

Recent Examples on the Web

North Korea also attempted to sell small arms and light weapons and other military equipment via foreign intermediaries, including Syrian arms traffickers in the case of Houthi Shiite rebels in Yemen as well as Libya and Sudan, the report said. Fox News, "Russia holds up release of report on North Korea sanctions," 30 Aug. 2018 After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Russian Army inherited large stocks of small arms, and has coasted on that inventory ever since. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Meet the Chukavin, Russia’s New Sniper Rifle," 6 Dec. 2018 The post was also a reminder that although Europeans often criticise lax firearm-ownership laws across the Atlantic, the region’s firms are increasingly present in America’s market for small arms—defined as revolvers, pistols, rifles and shotguns. The Economist, "Europe’s flourishing gunmakers," 24 Feb. 2018 There’s also a good chance that some North Koreans, especially military personnel with easy access to small arms, may resort to petty larceny to get ahead. Charlie Campbell, Time, "What Would Korean Reunification Look Like? Five Glaring Problems to Overcome," 26 Apr. 2018 Joseph Maciel of South Gate, California, was shot by small arms fire and killed. Lolita C. Baldor, chicagotribune.com, "Army ponders changes after insider attack that killed soldier in Afghanistan," 14 July 2018 Officials said Celiz died Thursday of wounds from enemy small arms fire. Fox News, "Soldier from South Carolina killed in combat in Afghanistan," 13 July 2018 Hours later, militants attacked the nearby C.I.A. base with mortars and small arms. Adam Goldman, New York Times, "Benghazi Attacker Gets 22 Years, Disappointing Prosecutors Who Sought Life," 27 June 2018 For now, the A-10 is being used largely in uncontested environments, where the greatest danger pilots face is small arms fire or possibly a Stinger-like man-portable air defense system (MANPADS) missile. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Air Force tests two turboprops as potential A-10 “replacements”," 19 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of small arm

1674, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about small arm

Share small arm

Statistics for small arm

Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for small arm

The first known use of small arm was in 1674

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on small arm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for small arm

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about small arm

Comments on small arm

What made you want to look up small arm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to corrupt or become corrupted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!