of a firearm : having a small or relatively small bore
especially : having a caliber of .22 inches
a small-bore rifle
: of, relating to, or involving the use of small-bore firearms
small-bore ammunition
a small-bore shooting competition
: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web View Photos One reason for this equanimity is the small-bore, long-stroke layout of the Civic engine family to which the Integra powerplant belongs. Csaba Csere, Car and Driver, 1 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'small-bore.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of small-bore was in 1833

Dictionary Entries Near small-bore

Cite this Entry

“Small-bore.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/small-bore. Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

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