Definition of artillery in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Large-calibre guns used in warfare on land:

    ‘tanks and heavy artillery’
    • ‘When we reached about the halfway point, then the mortar and artillery fire started falling.’
    • ‘On the rest of the front there was intermittent artillery fire.’
    • ‘Some artillery guns fired white phosphorous rounds that create a screen of fire that cannot be extinguished with water.’
    • ‘The attack on Rommel's lines started with over 800 artillery guns firing at the German lines.’
    • ‘Sarin gas was fired in artillery shells and rockets into heavily forested terrain.’
    • ‘The use of machine guns and heavy artillery consumed infantry offensives like bundles of straw in a furnace.’
    • ‘Due to their positions, standing patrols are ideal for controlling artillery and mortar fire.’
    • ‘More important, the army was short on arms and munitions, particularly machine guns and heavy artillery.’
    • ‘British forces took its airport and a bridge, but Iraqi forces resisted with artillery and heavy machine guns.’
    • ‘Modern categories of artillery fire solid shot, shrapnel, or explosive shells.’
    • ‘The night here is punctuated by artillery fire and that fire was coming from the east.’
    • ‘Fire delivered by artillery and tanks formed the backbone of the antitank defense.’
    • ‘Most of the shells fired by artillery guns were high explosive shells which could throw shrapnel over a wide distance in the trenches.’
    • ‘At Flushing the commandos began landing before dawn after a heavy artillery bombardment on the port.’
    • ‘Thousands were killed from heavy artillery fire and constant aerial bombardment by the Nazis.’
    • ‘We could hear the machine guns and the heavy artillery booming and they told us to march.’
    • ‘From ahead came the rumble of heavy artillery fire off to the west and the east.’
    • ‘A huge number of artillery shells were fired into the area around Vimy Ridge.’
    • ‘The two sides have exchanged heavy fire using guns, artillery and mortars.’
    • ‘The sound of heavy artillery fire could be heard from the fringes of the city, but there was no sign of US forces.’
    ordnance, cannonry, heavy weapons, heavy weaponry, battery
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A military detachment or branch of the armed forces that uses large-calibre guns:
      ‘each corps included two regiments of field artillery’
      [in names] ‘he served in the Royal Artillery’
      • ‘Joseph Tilly was a military man and became a lieutenant in the artillery.’
      • ‘Coalition ground forces wanted air support to take out harassing enemy artillery.’
      • ‘The authors are experienced artillery officers who subsequently became military historians.’
      • ‘Together with the armour, artillery and infantry, the Royal Engineers form one of the combat elements of the army.’
      • ‘The French were handicapped by their lack of artillery and cavalry, which had ensured the success of the column elsewhere.’
      • ‘One month was spent practicing this tactic combining infantry, tanks and artillery.’
      • ‘To train your artillery to fire on command, you'll need to take matters into your own hands.’
      • ‘A good part of their infantries were pulled out, but more of their armour and artillery came in.’
      • ‘Her husband is also on active military service with the 9th artillery regiment.’
      • ‘Perhaps surprisingly Fueter also held the rank of colonel in the artillery of the Swiss army.’
      • ‘While the Army tends to view air power as merely an air artillery, the Air Force looks at itself as a strategic force.’
      • ‘During the second world war he served as a gunner in the South African artillery throughout the Italian campaign.’
      • ‘The mortar platoon is the personal artillery battery for the battalion commander.’
      • ‘Our own artillery had to run up a good distance to get in range of the enemy artillery.’
      • ‘More than 300 gunners from seven artillery units lined the road outside the cathedral.’
      • ‘Likewise, other artillery and light artillery companies from both flanks of the city began to fire.’
      • ‘The Mahratta artillery opened fire at close range with grapeshot and chainshot, doing terrible execution.’
      • ‘Russian artillery on surrounding hills fired hundreds of shells in between the jet attacks.’
      • ‘Reinforced with artillery the Kwantung Army tried again on 23 July, but were again checked.’
      • ‘Hanoverian artillery cut the Jacobite troops to pieces, and Culloden was a slaughter.’


Late Middle English: from Old French artillerie, from artiller, alteration of atillier equip, arm, probably a variant of atirier, from a- (from Latin ad to, at) + tire rank, order.