artillery

Artillery refers to large-caliber guns — guns with big barrels — which can be moved from one place to another for land battles. The artillery is also the name for the army unit that uses these big guns.

If you're a military commander and you say, "Bring in the heavy artillery," you're ordering the artillery to move into place and get ready for action. But if you're talking to fellow members of your debate team and you say, “Bring in the heavy artillery,” you mean "bring in our best debaters, our heaviest hitters." Artillery can refer to one weapon or 100 — the singular and plural are the same.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: artillery

1
n
large but transportable armament
2
n
a means of persuading or arguing
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: artillery
1

n large but transportable armament

Synonyms:
gun, heavy weapon, ordnance
Types:
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cannon
a large artillery gun that is usually on wheels
field artillery, field gun
movable artillery (other than antiaircraft) used by armies in the field (especially for direct support of front-line troops)
four-pounder
an artillery gun that throws a shot weighing four pounds
basilisk
ancient brass cannon
culverin
a heavy cannon with a long barrel used in the 16th and 17th centuries
harpoon gun
a cannon or similar gun that fires harpoons
high-angle gun
a cannon that can be fired at a high elevation for relatively short ranges
long tom
a long swivel cannon formerly used by the navy
Type of:
armament
weaponry used by military or naval force

n an army unit that uses big guns

Synonyms:
artillery unit
Types:
battery
group of guns or missile launchers operated together at one place
Type of:
army unit
a military unit that is part of an army
2

n a means of persuading or arguing

Synonyms:
weapon
Type of:
persuasion, suasion
the act of persuading (or attempting to persuade); communication intended to induce belief or action
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