ordnance
Gun Gun (g[u^]n), n. [OE. gonne, gunne; of uncertain origin; cf. Ir., Gael., & LL. gunna, W. gum; possibly (like cannon) fr. L. canna reed, tube; or abbreviated fr. OF. mangonnel, E. mangonel, a machine for hurling stones.] 1. A weapon which throws or propels a missile to a distance; any firearm or instrument for throwing projectiles, consisting of a tube or barrel closed at one end, in which the projectile is placed, with an explosive charge (such as guncotton or gunpowder) behind, which is ignited by various means. Pistols, rifles, carbines, muskets, and fowling pieces are smaller guns, for hand use, and are called {small arms}. Larger guns are called {cannon}, {ordnance}, {fieldpieces}, {carronades}, {howitzers}, etc. See these terms in the Vocabulary. [1913 Webster]

As swift as a pellet out of a gunne When fire is in the powder runne. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

The word gun was in use in England for an engine to cast a thing from a man long before there was any gunpowder found out. --Selden. [1913 Webster]

2. (Mil.) A piece of heavy ordnance; in a restricted sense, a cannon. [1913 Webster]

3. pl. (Naut.) Violent blasts of wind. [1913 Webster]

Note: Guns are classified, according to their construction or manner of loading as {rifled} or {smoothbore}, {breech-loading} or {muzzle-loading}, {cast} or {built-up guns}; or according to their use, as {field}, {mountain}, {prairie}, {seacoast}, and {siege guns}. [1913 Webster]

{Armstrong gun}, a wrought iron breech-loading cannon named after its English inventor, Sir William Armstrong.

{Big gun} or {Great gun}, a piece of heavy ordnance; hence (Fig.), a person superior in any way; as, bring in the big guns to tackle the problem.

{Gun barrel}, the barrel or tube of a gun.

{Gun carriage}, the carriage on which a gun is mounted or moved.

{Gun cotton} (Chem.), a general name for a series of explosive nitric ethers of cellulose, obtained by steeping cotton in nitric and sulphuric acids. Although there are formed substances containing nitric acid radicals, yet the results exactly resemble ordinary cotton in appearance. It burns without ash, with explosion if confined, but quietly and harmlessly if free and open, and in small quantity. Specifically, the lower nitrates of cellulose which are insoluble in ether and alcohol in distinction from the highest (pyroxylin) which is soluble. See {Pyroxylin}, and cf. {Xyloidin}. The gun cottons are used for blasting and somewhat in gunnery: for making celluloid when compounded with camphor; and the soluble variety (pyroxylin) for making collodion. See {Celluloid}, and {Collodion}. Gun cotton is frequenty but improperly called {nitrocellulose}. It is not a nitro compound, but an ester of nitric acid.

{Gun deck}. See under {Deck}.

{Gun fire}, the time at which the morning or the evening gun is fired.

{Gun metal}, a bronze, ordinarily composed of nine parts of copper and one of tin, used for cannon, etc. The name is also given to certain strong mixtures of cast iron.

{Gun port} (Naut.), an opening in a ship through which a cannon's muzzle is run out for firing.

{Gun tackle} (Naut.), the blocks and pulleys affixed to the side of a ship, by which a gun carriage is run to and from the gun port.

{Gun tackle purchase} (Naut.), a tackle composed of two single blocks and a fall. --Totten.

{Krupp gun}, a wrought steel breech-loading cannon, named after its German inventor, Herr Krupp.

{Machine gun}, a breech-loading gun or a group of such guns, mounted on a carriage or other holder, and having a reservoir containing cartridges which are loaded into the gun or guns and fired in rapid succession. In earlier models, such as the {Gatling gun}, the cartridges were loaded by machinery operated by turning a crank. In modern versions the loading of cartidges is accomplished by levers operated by the recoil of the explosion driving the bullet, or by the pressure of gas within the barrel. Several hundred shots can be fired in a minute by such weapons, with accurate aim. The {Gatling gun}, {Gardner gun}, {Hotchkiss gun}, and {Nordenfelt gun}, named for their inventors, and the French {mitrailleuse}, are machine guns.

{To blow great guns} (Naut.), to blow a gale. See {Gun}, n., 3. [1913 Webster +PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ordnance — Ord nance, n. [From OE. ordenance, referring orig. to the bore or size of the cannon. See {Ordinance}.] Heavy weapons of warfare; cannon, or great guns, mortars, and howitzers; artillery; sometimes, a general term for all weapons, ammunitiion,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ordnance — (n.) cannon, artillery, a clipped form of ORDINANCE (Cf. ordinance) (q.v.) which was attested from late 14c. in the sense of military materials, provisions of war; a sense now obsolete but which led to those of engines for discharging missiles… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Ordnance — Pays d’origine Pékin,  Chine Genre musical Power Metal Trash Metal Groove Metal …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ordnance — [ôrd′nəns] n. [contr. < ORDINANCE, in restricted meaning] 1. cannon or artillery 2. all military weapons together with ammunition, combat vehicles, etc. and the equipment and supplies used in servicing these 3. a military branch or unit that… …   English World dictionary

  • Ordnance — (spr. órdnǟnß), in England das Geschützwesen, auch die Behörde (O. Department), der die Sorge für das gesamte Artillerie , Ingenieur , Garnison und Kasernenwesen obliegt, und die direkt vom Kriegsamt ressortiert. Vgl. Ordonnanztruppen …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • ordnance — *armament, matériel, munitions, arms, artillery, ammunition …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • ordnance — [n] artillery arms, big guns*, bombs, heavy stuff*, missiles, munitions, weapons; concepts 322,500 …   New thesaurus

  • ordnance — ► NOUN 1) mounted guns; cannon. 2) US munitions. 3) a government department dealing with military stores and materials. ORIGIN variant of ORDINANCE(Cf. ↑ordinance) …   English terms dictionary

  • Ordnance — Not to be confused with Ordinance (disambiguation). Ordnance may refer to: Military: Military logistics, especially provision of weapons and ammunition Ordnance weapon, a personal weapon issued to a member of a military unit Aircraft ordnance,… …   Wikipedia

  • ordnance — n. 1 mounted guns; cannon. 2 a branch of government service dealing esp. with military stores and materials. Phrases and idioms: ordnance datum Brit. mean sea level as defined for Ordnance Survey. Ordnance map Brit. a map produced by Ordnance… …   Useful english dictionary

  • ordnance — ordinance, ordnance, ordonnance An ordinance is ‘an authoritative order’, ordnance is ‘a branch of government service dealing with military stores and materials, and ordonnance is ‘a plan or method of literary or artistic competition’ or ‘an… …   Modern English usage

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”