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
large but transportable armament
a means of persuading or arguing
n large but transportable armament
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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)
an artillery gun that throws a shot weighing four pounds
ancient brass cannon
a heavy cannon with a long barrel used in the 16th and 17th centuries
a cannon or similar gun that fires harpoons
a cannon that can be fired at a high elevation for relatively short ranges
a long swivel cannon formerly used by the navy
- Type of:
weaponry used by military or naval force