car bine


[kahr-been, -bahyn]
a light, gas-operated semiautomatic rifle.
(formerly) a short rifle used in the cavalry.

1595–1605; earlier carabine < Middle French: small harquebus, weapon borne by a carabin a lightly armed cavalryman, compared with (e)scarabin gravedigger for plague victims (< Provençal, akin to French escarbot cockchafer, dung beetle ≪ Latin scarabaeus scarab), though semantic change is unclear Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
carbine (ˈkɑːbaɪn)
1.  a light automatic or semiautomatic rifle of limited range
2.  carabin, Also called: carabine a light short-barrelled shoulder rifle formerly used by cavalry
[C17: from French carabine, from Old French carabin carabineer, perhaps variant of escarrabin one who prepares corpses for burial, from scarabée, from Latin scarabaeusscarab]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1590, from Fr. carabine, used of light horsemen and also of the weapon they carried, perhaps from M.L. Calabrinus "Calabrian." One far-fetched theory connects it to O.Fr. escarrabin "corpse-bearer during the plague," lit. (probably) "carrion beetle," said to have been an epithet for archers from Flanders.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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