One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An infantryman's light gun with a long barrel, typically smooth-bored and fired from the shoulder.as modifier ‘a volley of musket fire’
- ‘What nerve it must have taken to run into the face of massed musket fire.’
- ‘The soldiers were hurriedly leaving the scene, their muskets over their shoulders, not even sparing a look back at the panicked crowd.’
- ‘She held a musket and fired several shots, each hitting their marks.’
- ‘I tried to sleep, but the echo of the musket fire woke me from my light slumber and pierced my heart with panic.’
- ‘Instead, he saw the men walking calmly, saw them carefully scanning the terrain ahead of them, muskets ready to fire.’
Late 16th century: from French mousquet, from Italian moschetto ‘crossbow bolt’, from mosca ‘a fly’.
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