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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
an Ordnance Survey mapBritish English (= a map showing the roads, paths, hills etc of an area in detail)
Ordnance Survey map
▪ The Cartesian projection, narrowing towards the poles, is practical for detailing and is used in most coastal ordnance surveys.
▪ A severely damaged Royal Navy destroyer burns through the day with exploding ordnance and great sudden flares of burning bunker oil.
▪ He succeeded Pym in control of the ordnance, and was thanked by the House for deciphering intercepted letters.
▪ On Grey's becoming prime minister in 1831, Creevey got the post of treasurer of the ordnance at £1,200 a year.
▪ One from the ordnance factory and one from the Army.
▪ Robert Shadley, commander of the ordnance center and school.
▪ The Cartesian projection, narrowing towards the poles, is practical for detailing and is used in most coastal ordnance surveys.
▪ There was so much ordnance stored in his office he had to get Ferric to take some home.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Gun \Gun\ (g[u^]n), n. [OE. gonne, gunne; of uncertain origin; cf. Ir., Gael., & LL. gunna, W. gum; possibly (like cannon) fr. L. canna reed, tube; or abbreviated fr. OF. mangonnel, E. mangonel, a machine for hurling stones.]

  1. A weapon which throws or propels a missile to a distance; any firearm or instrument for throwing projectiles, consisting of a tube or barrel closed at one end, in which the projectile is placed, with an explosive charge (such as guncotton or gunpowder) behind, which is ignited by various means. Pistols, rifles, carbines, muskets, and fowling pieces are smaller guns, for hand use, and are called small arms. Larger guns are called cannon, ordnance, fieldpieces, carronades, howitzers, etc. See these terms in the Vocabulary.

    As swift as a pellet out of a gunne When fire is in the powder runne.

    The word gun was in use in England for an engine to cast a thing from a man long before there was any gunpowder found out.

  2. (Mil.) A piece of heavy ordnance; in a restricted sense, a cannon.

  3. pl. (Naut.) Violent blasts of wind.

    Note: Guns are classified, according to their construction or manner of loading as rifled or smoothbore, breech-loading or muzzle-loading, cast or built-up guns; or according to their use, as field, mountain, prairie, seacoast, and siege guns.

    Armstrong gun, a wrought iron breech-loading cannon named after its English inventor, Sir William Armstrong.

    Big gun or Great gun, a piece of heavy ordnance; hence (Fig.), a person superior in any way; as, bring in the big guns to tackle the problem.

    Gun barrel, the barrel or tube of a gun.

    Gun carriage, the carriage on which a gun is mounted or moved.

    Gun cotton (Chem.), a general name for a series of explosive nitric ethers of cellulose, obtained by steeping cotton in nitric and sulphuric acids. Although there are formed substances containing nitric acid radicals, yet the results exactly resemble ordinary cotton in appearance. It burns without ash, with explosion if confined, but quietly and harmlessly if free and open, and in small quantity. Specifically, the lower nitrates of cellulose which are insoluble in ether and alcohol in distinction from the highest (pyroxylin) which is soluble. See Pyroxylin, and cf. Xyloidin. The gun cottons are used for blasting and somewhat in gunnery: for making celluloid when compounded with camphor; and the soluble variety (pyroxylin) for making collodion. See Celluloid, and Collodion. Gun cotton is frequenty but improperly called nitrocellulose. It is not a nitro compound, but an ester of nitric acid.

    Gun deck. See under Deck.

    Gun fire, the time at which the morning or the evening gun is fired.

    Gun metal, a bronze, ordinarily composed of nine parts of copper and one of tin, used for cannon, etc. The name is also given to certain strong mixtures of cast iron.

    Gun port (Naut.), an opening in a ship through which a cannon's muzzle is run out for firing.

    Gun tackle (Naut.), the blocks and pulleys affixed to the side of a ship, by which a gun carriage is run to and from the gun port.

    Gun tackle purchase (Naut.), a tackle composed of two single blocks and a fall.

    Krupp gun, a wrought steel breech-loading cannon, named after its German inventor, Herr Krupp.

    Machine gun, a breech-loading gun or a group of such guns, mounted on a carriage or other holder, and having a reservoir containing cartridges which are loaded into the gun or guns and fired in rapid succession. In earlier models, such as the Gatling gun, the cartridges were loaded by machinery operated by turning a crank. In modern versions the loading of cartidges is accomplished by levers operated by the recoil of the explosion driving the bullet, or by the pressure of gas within the barrel. Several hundred shots can be fired in a minute by such weapons, with accurate aim. The Gatling gun, Gardner gun, Hotchkiss gun, and Nordenfelt gun, named for their inventors, and the French mitrailleuse, are machine guns.

    To blow great guns (Naut.), to blow a gale. See Gun, n., 3.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"cannon, artillery," 1540s, a clipped form of ordinance (q.v.) which was attested from late 14c. in the sense of "military materials, provisions of war;" a sense now obsolete but which led to those of "engines for discharging missiles" (early 15c.) and "branch of the military concerned with stores and materials" (late 15c.). The shorter word was established in these distinct senses by 17c. Ordnance survey (1833), official survey of Great Britain and Ireland, was undertaken by the government under the direction of the Master-General of the Ordnance (the natural choice, gunners being thoroughly trained in surveying ranges and distances).


n. 1 military equipment, especially weapons and ammunition. 2 artillery.

  1. n. military supplies [syn: munitions, ordnance stores]

  2. large but transportable armament [syn: artillery, heavy weapon, gun]


Ordnance may refer to:

Usage examples of "ordnance".

Senior Chief Dobler to ordnance with a truck to bring back ammo and weapons.

Meldritch had but eight thousand soldiers, but he was re-enforced by the arrival of nine thousand more, with six-and-twenty pieces of ordnance, under Lord Zachel Moyses, the general of the army, who took command of the whole.

A couple of grenades old-style drillbombs, obsolescent and crude by the latest ordnance standards, but still effective.

Bar before a soft east wind, to the music of sacbut, fife, and drum, with discharge of all ordnance, great and small, with cheering of young and old from cliff and strand and quay, and with many a tearful prayer and blessing upon that gallant bark, and all brave hearts on board.

I trust it will not be forgotten, that twenty-five pieces of heavy ordnance have been dragged to the different batteries, mounted, and, all but three, fought by seamen, except one artilleryman to point the guns.

Van Buskirk of Montreal exotic reflective glasswares and glass-blowing hardware and broom and ordnance and survivalist cookware and hip postcards and black-lather gag soap and cheesy old low-demand InterLace 3rd-Grid cartridges and hand-buzzers and fraudulent but seductive X-ray spectacles and they were sent through the remains of Provincial Autoroute 557 U.

Perry launched into a flow of the technicalities used in ordnance and ballistics, and described with sweeps of his hands what would happen to a shell unlucky enough to be constrained by an inversed-cube type acceleration.

They were all speaking English, as a courtesy to the British officers present, who included a Captain of Horse named Billman, Colonel Sir Peter Hicks, and a Lieutenant Dundas, a young Scottish officer in charge of an ordnance survey party.

But for the smudge of oil left by his fingers, I could tell myself that none of it had happened, and get on with banging my typewriter keys, ordering mustard by the tub and jam by the barrel and currants by the sackload as the ordnance trucks trundled their deadly trains of long steel canisters across the concrete and the groundcrew hauled fuel bousers and the aircrew watched the maps being unrolled and the pointers pointed at the name of a town in Europe that would mean death for some of them.

The second man, an ordnance officer at the proving ground, had spectacularly committed suicide by exploding an atomic artillery shell, vaporizing himself and certain key comrades including his superior officer.

On the 25th July, 1598, the lords of the council wrote to the mayor calling upon him to see that some twelve or sixteen vessels were provided with ordnance and powder for the defence of the Thames, and the court of Common Council at once took the necessary steps for fitting out the ships as well as for mustering a force of 3,000 men, afterwards raised to 6,000.

Hot ordnance split and shiver and rebound, And firelocks fouled and flintless overstrew the ground.

I spying his intendment, discharged my petronel in his bosom, and with this instrument, my poor rapier, ran violently upon the Moors that guarded the ordnance, and put them pell-mell to the sword.

Treasury of the Quinquinambo Confederate States to Don Miguel Briones, in payment of certain stores and provisions, and of a piece of ordnance known as the saluting cannon of the Presidio of Todos Santos.

On the return to the Principessa he cast his mind to the other places that he might purchase some decent ordnance.