n. a weapon that shoots grenades from a device
A grenade launcher is a weapon that fires a specially-designed large-caliber projectile, often with an explosive, smoke or gas warhead. Today, the term generally refers to a class of dedicated firearms firing unitary grenade cartridges. The most common type are man-portable, shoulder-fired weapons issued to individuals, although larger crew-served launchers are issued at higher levels of organisation by military forces.
Grenade launchers can either come in the form of standalone weapons (either single-shot or repeating) or attachments mounted to a parent firearm, usually a rifle. Larger crew-served automatic grenade launchers such as the Mk 19 are mounted on tripods or vehicles.
Some armored fighting vehicles also mount fixed arrays of short range, single-shot grenade launchers as a means of defense. These devices usually fire smoke grenades to conceal the vehicle behind a smoke screen, though can also be loaded with chaff, flares, or anti-personnel grenades to repel infantry attacks. Vehicle-mounted smoke grenade launchers are also known as smoke dischargers.