submachine gun

noun (1)
sub·​ma·​chine gun | \ ˌsəb-mə-ˈshēn-ˌgən How to pronounce submachine gun (audio) \

Definition of submachine gun

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a portable automatic firearm that uses pistol-type ammunition and is fired from the shoulder or hip

Thompson submachine gun

noun (2)
Thomp·​son submachine gun | \ ˈtäm(p)-sən- How to pronounce Thompson submachine gun (audio) \

Definition of Thompson submachine gun (Entry 2 of 2)

: a .45 caliber submachine gun with a drum or stick magazine, a pistol grip, and a detachable buttstock

Examples of submachine gun in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Komatsu Factory group shows off several types of handguns, submachine guns, and pistols. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "These Wooden Firearm Replicas Are Incredibly Detailed and Absolutely Stunning," 13 Apr. 2018 The howls and shrieks come from the basement where Toby wields a submachine gun to kill off rivals. Betsy Morris, WSJ, "How Fortnite Triggered an Unwinnable War Between Parents and Their Boys," 21 Dec. 2018 The Army has awarded contracts to ten companies to submit submachine guns for the service to evaluate. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Army Is Testing 10 New Submachine Guns," 11 June 2018 Police said a weapon, possibly a MAC-10 submachine gun, was recovered near the body of the 17-year-old. CBS News, "Teen thought shot dead, covered with sheet, begins to move," 19 June 2018 The Israeli army has released images of protesters using weapons ranging from slingshots to submachine guns, and numerous attempts to breach the Israeli border with knives or bombs, to prove the contrary. Hana Salah,, "Palestinians in Gaza launch biggest rocket barrage in years, then claim they have agreed to cease-fire," 29 May 2018 The last time the Army adopted a submachine gun was in 1943. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Army is Looking for Its First New Submachine Gun Since WWII," 11 May 2018 There are Tommy guns, M2 Brownings, Uzis, a Sterling submachine gun and AK-47 assault rifles, the most popular machine gun in the world. Polly Mosendz,, "How One Man Got Rich Selling Machine Guns," 5 Apr. 2018 There are Tommy guns, M2 Brownings, Uzis, a Sterling submachine gun and AK-47 assault rifles, the most popular machine gun in the world. Fortune, "How Buying and Selling Machine Guns in America Made This Man Rich — Yes, Actual Machine Guns," 5 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'submachine gun.' 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 submachine gun

Noun (1)

1920, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1920, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for submachine gun

Noun (2)

John T. Thompson †1940 American army officer

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Last Updated

3 May 2019

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Time Traveler for submachine gun

The first known use of submachine gun was in 1920

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More Definitions for submachine gun

submachine gun


English Language Learners Definition of submachine gun

: a small, light machine gun

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Spanish Central: Translation of submachine gun Encyclopedia article about submachine gun

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