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 Hoffmann is Mills’ secret weapon, playing the kind of character who faces challenges and simply keeps plugging along. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 24 Nov. 2021 Forensic anthropologists analyze human remains, conduct DNA tests and look for any signs of weapon evidence to help determine how a person died. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, 23 Nov. 2021 No bystanders were injured as a result of the weapon discharge. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 23 Nov. 2021 Her message came shortly after a separate email from Fluhr said a police search did not find a weapon. Krista Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 23 Nov. 2021 Joel Lopez, 29, was charged with attempting to set a fire, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery of a police officer, and resisting arrest, police said in a statement. Katie Redefer, BostonGlobe.com, 22 Nov. 2021 The Transportation Security Administration has procedures in place at airport checkpoints to prevent accidental weapon discharges like the one that sent passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson International scrambling on Saturday. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, 22 Nov. 2021 Chanthala Phanthourath, 50, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was charged with theft of vehicle parts, unlawful use of a weapon, possession of burglary tools and criminal damage to property on Nov. 3, police said. Pioneer Press Staff, chicagotribune.com, 22 Nov. 2021 Multiple unknown suspects confronted a victim and implied having a weapon before stealing cash from the victim. Allana Haynes, baltimoresun.com, 22 Nov. 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

25 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Weapon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weapon. Accessed 1 Dec. 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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