Word Origin & History
late 14c., "warlike munitions," from O.Fr. artillerie (14c.), from artillier "to provide with engines of war" (13c.), which probably is from M.L. articulum "art, skill," dim. of L. ars (gen. artis) "art." But some would connect it with L. articulum "joint," and still others with O.Fr. atillier "to equip,"
altered by infl. of arte. Sense of "engines for discharging missiles" (catapults, slings, bows, etc.) is from late 15c.; that of "ordnance, large guns" is from 1530s.