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[hou-it-ser] /ˈhaʊ ɪt sər/
noun, Ordnance.
a cannon having a comparatively short barrel, used especially for firing shells at a high angle of elevation, as for reaching a target behind cover or in a trench.
Origin of howitzer
1685-95; earlier hauwitzer < Dutch houvietser, equivalent to houviets- (< German Haubitze, Middle High German haufnitz < Czech houfnice slingshot) + -er -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for howitzer
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Historical Examples
  • Suffice it, then, that Heloise lived with her uncle the howitzer and was happy.

    The Innocents Abroad Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • This howitzer had a range of more than 6,000 yards, and was a powerful weapon.

  • My own little shelter was blown to pieces by a howitzer shell and the occupants killed.

    Q.6.a and Other places Francis Buckley
  • During June and July one 6-inch howitzer and twenty-five 18-prs.

  • For "the object of a gun or howitzer is to throw a projectile to some spot the position of which is known."

    Fields of Victory Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Take him and enroll him, Haralson, and turn him over to Dreux and the howitzer.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for howitzer


a cannon having a short or medium barrel with a low muzzle velocity and a steep angle of fire
Word Origin
C16: from Dutch houwitser, from German Haubitze, from Czech houfnice stone-sling
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for howitzer

1680s, via Dutch houwitser (1660s), German Haubitze from Bohemian houfnice "a catapult," from houf "heap, crowd," a loan-word from Middle High German hufe "heap." Introduced to German during the Hussite wars, 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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