Etymology
Advertisement

artillery (n.)

late 14c., "warlike munitions," especially ballistic engines, from Anglo-French artillerie, Old French artillerie (14c.), from artillier "to provide with engines of war" (13c.), which probably is from Medieval Latin articulum "art, skill," a diminutive of Latin ars (genitive artis) "art." But some would connect it to Latin articulum "joint," others to Latin apere "to attach, join," and still others to Old French atillier "to equip," altered by influence of arte.

Originally any engine for discharging missiles (catapults, slings, bows, etc.); the modern restriction to "ordnance, large guns" is from 16c. Technically, "all firearms discharged from carriages," as opposed to small arms, discharged by hand. As a branch of the army, from 1786.

updated on September 25, 2022

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of artillery from WordNet

artillery (n.)
large but transportable armament;
Synonyms: heavy weapon / gun / ordnance
artillery (n.)
an army unit that uses big guns;
Synonyms: artillery unit
artillery (n.)
a means of persuading or arguing;
Synonyms: weapon
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.