Ammo is a shorthand way to say "ammunition," meaning bullets, gunpowder, and other combat supplies. A war movie might include a scene of soldiers running low on ammo.

Ammo generally refers to a supply of the actual munitions, or exploding substances and projectiles that are put in guns, cannons, and other weapons. A gun without ammo won't actually shoot. This colloquial form of ammunition was first used around 1917, and both are rooted in the Middle French phrase la munition, "fortification" or "defense."

Definitions of ammo

n projectiles to be fired from a gun

show 15 types...
hide 15 types...
belt, belt ammunition, belted ammunition
ammunition (usually of small caliber) loaded in flexible linked strips for use in a machine gun
ammunition consisting of a cylindrical casing containing an explosive charge and a bullet; fired from a rifle or handgun
canister, canister shot, case shot
a metallic cylinder packed with shot and used as ammunition in a firearm
powder and shot
ammunition consisting of gunpowder and bullets for muskets
one shot, round, unit of ammunition
a charge of ammunition for a single shot
ammunition consisting of a cylindrical metal casing containing an explosive charge and a projectile; fired from a large gun
tracer, tracer bullet
ammunition whose flight can be observed by a trail of smoke
artillery shell
a shell fired by artillery
ball cartridge
a general purpose cartridge having a primer and a ball and a full charge of powder
blank, blank shell, dummy
a cartridge containing an explosive charge but no bullet
cartouch, cartouche
a cartridge (usually with paper casing)
shotgun shell
a shell containing lead shot; used in shotguns
shell containing lead pellets that explodes in flight
tank shell
a shell fired by the cannon on a tank
whizbang, whizbang shell, whizzbang
a small high-velocity shell; it makes a whizzing sound followed by a bang when it hits
Type of:
arms, implements of war, munition, weaponry, weapons system
weapons considered collectively

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.