Definition: Weapon

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English wepen, from Old English wǣpn, from Proto-West Germanic *wāpn, from Proto-Germanic *wēpną (weapon), of unknown origin, possibly from Proto-Indo-European *wēbnom. Cognate with Scots wapyn, wappen (weapon), West Frisian wapen (weapon), Dutch wapen (weapon, coat of arms), Low German wapen (weapon), German Waffe (weapon) and Wappen (coat of arms), Danish våben (weapon, coat of arms), Swedish vapen (weapon, coat of arms), Norwegian Bokmål våpen (weapon), Icelandic vopn (weapon).


weapon (plural weapons)

  1. An instrument of attack or defense in combat or hunting, e.g. most guns, missiles, or swords; arm.
    The club that is now mostly used for golf was once a common weapon.
  2. An instrument or other means of harming or exerting control over another.
    Money is the main weapon of modern oligarchs.

Derived terms

  • assault weapon
  • atomic weapon
  • beweapon
  • biological weapon
  • bioweapon
  • chemical weapon
  • conventional weapon
  • cyberweapon
  • digital weapon
  • doomsday weapon
  • energy weapon
  • murder weapon
  • nonweapon
  • nuclear weapon
  • radiological weapon
  • ranged weapon
  • siege weapon
  • space weapon
  • superweapon
  • thermonuclear weapon
  • weaponed
  • weaponeer
  • weaponization
  • weaponize
  • weaponless
  • weaponlike
  • weapon oath
  • weapon of mass destruction
  • weaponry
  • weaponsmith
  • weaponsmithing


weapon (third-person singular simple present weapons, present participle weaponing, simple past and past participle weaponed)

  1. To equip with a weapon; to arm.


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