weap·​on | \ˈwe-pən \

Definition of weapon 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something (such as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy

2 : a means of contending against another


weaponed; weaponing; weapons

Definition of weapon (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of weapon in a Sentence


assault with a deadly weapon The pitcher's slider is his most effective weapon. a new weapon in the fight against cancer The mayor's campaign unleashed its secret weapon.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Police charged De Santiago with one felony, possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver, and two misdemeanors, unlawful use of weapons and driving while license suspended. Staff Report, chicagotribune.com, "Norridge and Harwood Heights police reports," 13 July 2018 Iran reportedly bought billions of dollars worth of weapons from Israel during the war, and when the U.S. sold arms to Tehran in the Iran-Contra scandal, Israel acted as intermediary. Eliora Katz, WSJ, "Iranians Are Now Chanting ‘Death to Palestine’," 13 July 2018 The state Attorney General’s Office, which will prosecute the case, said Cortez has been charged with four counts each of weapons of mass destruction, risking a catastrophe, and carrying explosives. Joseph A. Gambardello, Philly.com, "Delco man arrested with cache of explosives like those used in Philly ATM blasts," 5 July 2018 Los Angeles has a boatload of weapons for Rivers to play with. SI.com, "Fantasy Football Preseason Reports: A Scout’s Take on Every Team," 5 July 2018 The law does not apply to semiautomatics that were already on the state's list of safe weapons approved for sale as of May, but only to new models submitted for approval since then. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "Calif. Supreme Court upholds law requiring bullet-tracing technology on guns," 28 June 2018 On March 27, Mims was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, and two counts of weapons felony firearms. Deasia Paige, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan murder suspect is on FBI's 10 most wanted list," 27 June 2018 Seventy-one of the weapons would go to officers who don’t currently have them, 33 would replace older models currently being used by officers and five would be kept as spares. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "All Elgin police officers to be armed with Tasers if council approves purchase," 27 June 2018 The Striker has been demilitarized and stripped of all weapons. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "You Can Buy This Missile-Shooting Tank Killer for $36,000," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Each crime fit the same modus operandi including the suspect’s build and weapon description, the report said. John R. Ellement, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston police arrest suspect in 24 armed robberies," 6 July 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for weapon


Middle English wepen, from Old English wǣpen; akin to Old High German wāffan weapon, Old Norse vāpn

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Learn More about weapon

Dictionary Entries near weapon


wean on






Statistics for weapon

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for weapon

The first known use of weapon was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for weapon



English Language Learners Definition of weapon

: something (such as a gun, knife, club, or bomb) that is used for fighting or attacking someone or for defending yourself when someone is attacking you

: something (such as a skill, idea, or tool) that is used to win a contest or achieve something


weap·​on | \ˈwe-pən \

Kids Definition of weapon

: something (as a gun, knife, or club) to fight with

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More from Merriam-Webster on weapon

Spanish Central: Translation of weapon

Nglish: Translation of weapon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of weapon for Arabic Speakers

Comments on weapon

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


full of whispering sounds

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