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[wep-uh n] /ˈwɛp ən/
any instrument or device for use in attack or defense in combat, fighting, or war, as a sword, rifle, or cannon.
anything used against an opponent, adversary, or victim:
the deadly weapon of satire.
Zoology. any part or organ serving for attack or defense, as claws, horns, teeth, or stings.
verb (used with object)
to supply or equip with a weapon or weapons:
to weapon aircraft with heat-seeking missiles.
before 900; Middle English wepen, Old English wǣpen; cognate with German Waffe, Old Norse vāpn, Gothic wēpna (plural)
Related forms
weaponed, adjective
weaponless, adjective
outweaponed, adjective
superweapon, noun
unweaponed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for weapons
  • More often, they become weapons to get rid of untenured profs who have made enemies.
  • Literary criticism is simply nowhere near as useful as inventing new biological weapons or explosives.
  • So a large part of the weapons purchased cannot be solely attributed to that one bloc.
  • The outcome of more wars has depended on insects than all the weapons combined.
  • Modern humans' stone tools and weapons usually featured elongated, standardized, finely crafted blades.
  • Others chipped out tools and weapons--arrowheads and axes.
  • Exploding an asteroid would require deploying nuclear weapons in space, scientists say.
  • Knives have also been used, not only for eating but as tools and weapons, since prehistoric times.
  • Soon, protected by heavy weapons, they set up their bases inside the favelas.
  • Except for weapons, ornaments, tools and suchlike personal possessions there was a sort of patriarchal communism in the tribe.
British Dictionary definitions for weapons


an object or instrument used in fighting
anything that serves to outwit or get the better of an opponent: his power of speech was his best weapon
any part of an animal that is used to defend itself, to attack prey, etc, such as claws, teeth, horns, or a sting
a slang word for penis
Derived Forms
weaponed, adjective
weaponless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English wǣpen; related to Old Norse vápn, Old Frisian wēpen, Old High German wāffan
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 weapons



Old English wæpen "instrument of fighting and defense," from Proto-Germanic *wæpnan (cf. Old Saxon wapan, Old Norse vapn, Danish vaaben, Old Frisian wepin, Middle Dutch wapen, Old High German waffen, German wafen (neuter), waffe (fem.)), from *webno-m, of unknown origin with no cognates outside Germanic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for weapons



The buttocks; anus; ass

[1970s+; perhaps a variant of kazoo]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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