\ ˈsmȯl-ˌbȯr How to pronounce small-bore (audio) \

Definition of small-bore

1a of a firearm : having a small or relatively small bore especially : having a caliber of .22 inches a small-bore rifle
b : of, relating to, or involving the use of small-bore firearms small-bore ammunition a small-bore shooting competition
2 : small in influence, importance, or scope small-bore issues We can—and should—expand the safety net and put aside money for housing for the poor, but we also need to stop thinking about small-bore solutions.— Hank Kalet … an anecdote painting him as a small-bore expense-account swindler.— Russell Baker Liberty is a huge breeze of a word, and in the confines of our small-bore politics, it sounds almost archaic.— Jack Hitt

First Known Use of small-bore

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about small-bore

Time Traveler for small-bore

Time Traveler

The first known use of small-bore was in 1833

See more words from the same year

Statistics for small-bore

Cite this Entry

“Small-bore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

Comments on small-bore

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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