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


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 two suspects were slated to be arraigned Friday in West Roxbury District Court on charges of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and assault and battery, the statement said. Alyssa Lukpat, BostonGlobe.com, "Stop and Shop employee, 18, stabbed; two arrested," 5 July 2019 He was charged with being an armed habitual criminal, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and resisting a peace officers. Deanese Williams-harris, chicagotribune.com, "Man on parole for double murder found hanged to death in jail cell after arrest on gun charges," 3 July 2019 The day his trial was supposed to begin in April, 49-year-old Anthony Arnold pleaded no contest to second-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and unlawful use of a weapon. oregonlive.com, "Man gets seven years in prison for Southeast Portland armed robbery," 3 July 2019 Juawanna Caves, a young St. Louis native and mother of two, was placed on a monitor in December after being charged with unlawful use of a weapon. Ava Kofman, ProPublica, "Digital Jail: How Electronic Monitoring Drives Defendants Into Debt," 3 July 2019 Japan’s decision to use its technology exports as a weapon in diplomatic combat signals a strategy upheaval for a resource-poor country long aware of its vulnerability in an interconnected world. Mayumi Negishi, WSJ, "Japan, a Champion of Free Trade, Takes a Page From Trump’s Playbook," 2 July 2019 Hunt pleaded guilty in February to first-degree recklessly endangering safety with the use of a dangerous weapon and discharging a firearm in a school zone, both as a party to a crime. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee man sentenced for shooting bullets into home of Police Chief Alfonso Morales," 2 July 2019 On Sunday, Walker was charged with murder, manslaughter, arson and criminal possession of a weapon. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Man Accused of Killing N.Y.C. Mom in National Guard and Drowning Their 2 Young Children," 24 June 2019 Planned Parenthood has said Missouri is using the licensing process as a weapon aimed at halting abortions. CBS News, "Judge rules Missouri's lone abortion clinic can continue to perform abortions, for now," 24 June 2019

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

Dictionary Entries near weapon


wean on






Statistics for weapon

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for weapon

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 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).


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

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!