musket

musket
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 speckled when in flight. Early firearms often were given names of beasts (Cf. dragoon), and the equivalent word in Italian was used to mean "an arrow for a crossbow." The French word was borrowed earlier into English (early 15c.) in its literal sense of "sparrow-hawk."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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 — ► 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 — /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,… …   Universalium

  • 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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