city in Hampshire, capital of Wessex and later of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom, Old English Uintancæstir (c.730), from Ouenta (c. 150), from Venta, a pre-Celtic name perhaps meaning "favored or chief place" + Old English ceaster "Roman town" (see Chester). As the name of a kind of breech-loading repeating rifle it is from the name of Oliver F. Winchester (1810-1880), U.S. manufacturer.

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