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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The other major weapon is hand-washing with soap and warm water before and after eating or using the restroom. Anne Saker, Cincinnati.com, "Valentine’s Day brings hearts, flowers and a fresh weekly flu report for Ohio," 14 Feb. 2020 In rebuttal comments, Assistant District Attorney Randy P. Sitzberger took exception to McMahon's description of the facsimile weapon as a toy. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Student charged in the officer-involved shooting at Waukesha South shouldn't face a felony charge, attorney says," 14 Feb. 2020 But a new ruling by the Trump administration suggests that the weapons could make a comeback. The Economist, "Donald Trump loosens America’s restrictions on landmines," 13 Feb. 2020 Officers swarmed the scene and convinced Craft to drop the weapon. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis crime: Man charged after firing shot during welfare check," 11 Feb. 2020 The weapon slides away, and at least a dozen officers rush in to take him down. CBS News, "Videos show man ambushing NYPD officers in separate incidents," 10 Feb. 2020 During the confrontation, the security guard then fired the weapon multiple times into the group of people. Alison Medley, Houston Chronicle, "HCSO: Security guard shoots and kills customer at sports bar in North Harris County," 9 Feb. 2020 The robber got out of a black Dodge Durango and attempted to rob DJ Slick at gunpoint, firing the weapon, according to news reports. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "DJ Slick B is fatally shot in Detroit. Council president begs: 'stop the violence'," 9 Feb. 2020 Prosecutors alleged that Joseph Roh was illegally manufacturing the weapons for $1,000 a piece and had at least 19 convicted felons among his clients. Scott Glover, CNN, "Former ATF agent at center of legal dispute over AR-15," 7 Feb. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about weapon

Time Traveler for weapon

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for weapon

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Weapon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weapon. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!