musket


musket
/mus"kit/, n.
1. a heavy, large-caliber smoothbore gun for infantry soldiers, introduced in the 16th century: the predecessor of the modern rifle.
2. the male sparrow hawk, Accipiter nisus.
[1580-90; < MF mousquet < It moschetto crossbow arrow, later musket, orig. kind of hawk, equiv. to mosch(a) fly ( < L musca) + -etto -ET]

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Muzzle-loading shoulder firearm developed in 16th-century Spain.

Designed as a larger version of the harquebus, muskets were fired with matchlocks until flintlocks were developed in the 17th century; flintlocks were replaced by percussion locks in the early 19th century. Early muskets were often handled by two persons and fired from a portable rest. Typically 5.5 ft (1.7 m) long and weighing about 20 lbs (9 kg), they fired a ball about 175 yards (160 m) with little accuracy. Later types were smaller, lighter, and accurate enough to hit a person at 80–100 yards (75–90 m). The musket was replaced in the mid-19th century by the breech-loading rifle.

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weapon
      muzzle-loading shoulder firearm, evolved in 16th-century Spain as a larger version of the harquebus (q.v.). It was replaced in the mid-19th century by the breechloading rifle. Muskets were matchlocks until flintlocks were developed in the 17th century, and in the early 19th century flintlocks were replaced by percussion locks. Most muskets were muzzle-loaders. Early muskets were often handled by two persons and fired from a portable rest. Such a weapon was typically 5.5 feet (1.7 m) long and weighed about 20 pounds (9 kg). It fired a 2-ounce (57-gram) ball about 175 yards (160 m) with little accuracy. Later types were smaller, lighter, and accurate enough to hit a human-sized target at 80–100 yards (75–90 m). These weapons had calibres ranging from 0.69 to more than 0.75 inch (1.75 to more than 1.90 cm).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • musket — [mus′kət] n. [MFr mosquet < It moschetto, musket, orig., fledged arrow < mosca, a fly < L musca: see MIDGE] a smoothbore, long barreled firearm, used esp. by infantry soldiers before the invention of the rifle …   English World dictionary

  • Musket — Mus ket, n. [F. mousquet, It. moschetto, formerly, a kind of hawk; cf. OF. mousket, moschet, a kind of hawk falcon, F. mouchet, prop., a little fly (the hawk prob. being named from its size), fr. L. musca a fly. Cf. {Mosquito}.] [Sometimes… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • musket — (n.) firearm for infantry (later replaced by the rifle), 1580s, from M.Fr. mousquette, also the name of a kind of sparrow hawk, dim. of mosca a fly, from L. musca (see MIDGE (Cf. midge)). The hawk so called either for its size or because it looks …   Etymology dictionary

  • musket — ► NOUN historical ▪ a light gun with a long barrel, typically smooth bored and fired from the shoulder. ORIGIN French mousquet, from Italian moschetto crossbow bolt …   English terms dictionary

  • Musket — Muskets and bayonets aboard the frigate Grand Turk. A musket is a muzzle loaded, smooth bore long gun, fired from the shoulder. Muskets were designed for use by infantry. A soldier armed with a musket had the designation musketman or musketeer.… …   Wikipedia

  • musket — UK [ˈmʌskɪt] / US [ˈmʌskət] noun [countable] Word forms musket : singular musket plural muskets a type of long gun used by soldiers before the invention of the rifle …   English dictionary

  • musket — n. hist. an infantryman s (esp. smooth bored) light gun, often supported on the shoulder. Phrases and idioms: musket shot 1 a shot fired from a musket. 2 the range of this shot. Etymology: F mousquet f. It. moschetto crossbow bolt f. mosca fly …   Useful english dictionary

  • musket — noun /mʌskʌt,mʌskɪt/ A species of firearm formerly carried by the infantry of an army. It was originally fired by means of a match, or matchlock, for which several mechanical appliances (including the flintlock, and finally the …   Wiktionary

  • musket — mus|ket [ˈmʌskıt] n [Date: 1500 1600; : French; Origin: mousquet, from Old Italian moschetto arrow, musket , from mosca fly ] a type of gun used in the past …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • musket — [[t]mʌ̱skɪt[/t]] muskets N COUNT A musket was an early type of gun with a long barrel, which was used before rifles were invented …   English dictionary


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