Definition of arquebus in English:


(also harquebus)


  • An early type of portable gun supported on a tripod or a forked rest.

    • ‘For example, bowstrings were easily split, spear shafts easily broken and use of the arquebus often dictated by the weather.’
    • ‘The arquebus was fairly common throughout the length of Japan by 1580, but often in short supply in the more remote regions.’
    • ‘The arquebus was a matchlock weapon that used a trigger for the first and was found to be effective.’
    • ‘The booklet directs the attention of the young traveler to the superb decoration which masters applied to swords, arbalests, and arquebus.’
    • ‘The Japanese use of the arquebus was a considerable element in their success.’


Mid 16th century: from French harquebuse, based on Middle Low German hakebusse, from hake ‘hook’ + busse ‘gun’.