Definition of artillery in English:



mass noun
  • 1Large-calibre guns used in warfare on land.

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


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’.