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 In addition to murder, Wilson is also charged with unlawful use of a weapon, police said. Clifford Ward, chicagotribune.com, 15 Oct. 2021 Brogdon has been charged with second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon. oregonlive, 13 Oct. 2021 No matter where Markkanen plays, his role remains the same: Be a versatile offensive threat, with a lethal inside-outside game -- the kind of weapon the Cavs missed the last few years as Kevin Love struggled with injuries and an aging game. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 11 Oct. 2021 Hayes, whose district includes Sandy Hook, is a chief sponsor of a measure that directs federal departments to track data related to school shootings, from a shooter’s demographics to the type of weapon used. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, 11 Oct. 2021 The great fear was that a terrorist organization such as Al Qaeda would buy or steal the makings of a nuclear weapon. New York Times, 10 Oct. 2021 Telfair was arrested on a gun possession charge in June 2017 and convicted in Brooklyn Supreme Court in 2019 on charges of criminal possession of a weapon related to a 2017 arrest. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 7 Oct. 2021 Schroeder denied the motion to dismiss count 6, which charges Rittenhouse with possession of dangerous weapon by a person under 18, but the judge added Tuesday that the matter may be subject to reconsideration, WDJT reported. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 5 Oct. 2021 Those charges include second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon. Andy Rose And Dakin Andone, CNN, 2 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Another officer had a taser ready, while the third officer had no taser or weapon out, Fields added. Alaa Elassar, CNN, 30 Sep. 2020 Recent reports, though, have claimed rubber bullets are still being used, and tracking which weapons individual police departments use is difficult. David Z. Morris, Fortune, 4 June 2020 Each crime fit the same modus operandi including the suspect’s build and weapon description, the report said. John R. Ellement, BostonGlobe.com, 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

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

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Statistics for weapon

Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Weapon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weapon. Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce weapon (audio) \

Kids Definition of weapon

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


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