sub·​mu·​ni·​tion | \ (ˌ)səb-myü-ˈni-shən How to pronounce submunition (audio) \

Definition of submunition

: any of a group of smaller weapons carried as a warhead by a missile or projectile and expelled as the carrier approaches its target

Examples of submunition in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In operation since May 2018, the team has already processed 700,000 of the small, baseball-sized submunitions, hundreds of which are encased in a typical rocket warhead. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army Is Using Robots to Dismantle Hazardous Rockets," 26 Feb. 2019 The 227-millimeter rocket system was originally conceived as a way to plaster area targets with grenade-like submunitions dispersed from salvos of unguided rockets. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "F-35, Ground Rocket Launcher Team Up to Destroy Target with Pinpoint Accuracy," 8 Oct. 2018 Department of Defense documentation obtained by Human Rights Watch and cited in their cluster munition survey shows that Egypt possessed 1,300 Rockeye cluster bombs, containing 321,000 Mk-118 submunitions, as of 2007. Rick Gladstone And Nour Youssef, New York Times, "Egypt Is Using Banned U.S.-Made Cluster Munitions in Sinai, Rights Group Says," 28 Feb. 2018 Cluster munitions encompass an array of rockets, bombs, missiles and artillery projectiles that scatter smaller weapons, called submunitions, over a wide area. Rick Gladstone And Nour Youssef, New York Times, "Egypt Is Using Banned U.S.-Made Cluster Munitions in Sinai, Rights Group Says," 28 Feb. 2018 Launched from the ground or dropped from the air, cluster munitions consist of containers that open and disperse submunitions, or bomblets, that fan out and explode, killing or maiming without distinction between civilian and military targets. Rick Gladstone, New York Times, "Casualties From Cluster Bombs More Than Doubled Last Year, Treaty Monitor Says," 31 Aug. 2017 Failed cluster submunitions look like rocks or toys and often sit inches below the surface – Karen J. Coates, The Christian Science Monitor, "In call to cancel debt, Cambodia asks: When war is over, who cleans up the mess?," 16 Aug. 2017 Picatinny Arsenal also claims the shell could be used to send other resupply items, surveillance electronics, or even a submunition at an enemy target. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Special Delivery: The U.S. Army Plans to Shoot Supplies to its Own Soldiers Inside Hollow Mortars," 9 Mar. 2017

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

1969, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of submunition was in 1969

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Cite this Entry

“Submunition.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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