weap·​on | \ ˈwe-pən How to pronounce weapon (audio) \

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

Noun 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 Running out of weapons and men to wield them, Orlando Bloom and Scott Eastwood brace for an attack by 400 Taliban insurgents in the upcoming thriller The Outpost, based on the true story of the Battle of Kamdesh in the Afghanistan War. Omar Sanchez, EW.com, "Orlando Bloom and Scott Eastwood fight off a Taliban invasion in The Outpost trailer," 21 May 2020 Its inventory of nuclear weapons at last count totaled 6,185. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "The Pentagon Is a 900-Pound Crybaby," 15 May 2020 Canada has instituted an executive ban on military-style weapons. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "'Effective immediately': Justin Trudeau bans military-style weapons in Canada," 1 May 2020 The Browns have assembled a different-looking group of offensive weapons built in big part around Stefanski’s vision on offense. Dan Labbe, cleveland, "Drafting Harrison Bryant reminds us the new Browns love tight ends and there’s a good reason for it," 26 Apr. 2020 The use of mechanical enemies leaves all attention on the weapons. Julie Muncy, Wired, "Receiver 2 Makes Players Understand What Guns Do IRL," 24 Apr. 2020 Insiders Mock Draft: Forget QB, Colts load up on weapons for Philip Rivers (Photo: Scott Horner/IndyStar photo illustration) Round 2, 34th: Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC Pittman is 6-4, ran a 4.5 40 at the combine and excels on special teams too. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "NFL Draft 2020: Who the Colts will pick on Day 2," 23 Apr. 2020 The 18-year-old also faces charges of theft and unlawful carrying of a weapon in two unrelated cases, court records show. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "Man killed teen with AR-15 during fit of road rage in Pleasant Grove, police say," 16 Apr. 2020 Clinical studies are being rolled out quickly at hospitals and research facilities around the country to explore a variety of potential weapons in the battle against the pandemic. John Futty, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio health workers to test oral antiviral spray for prevention of coronavirus infection," 2 Apr. 2020 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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Time Traveler for weapon

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for weapon

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Weapon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weapon. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for weapon


How to pronounce weapon (audio)

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 How to pronounce weapon (audio) \

Kids Definition of weapon

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on weapon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for weapon

Spanish Central: Translation of weapon

Nglish: Translation of weapon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of weapon for Arabic Speakers

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