Definition of cannonade in US English:



  • A period of continuous heavy gunfire.

    • ‘Melba's initial trill possessed the ballistic force of a cannonade.’
    • ‘A national salute and two cannonades, one from Brooklyn Heights the other from Jersey City, greeted the Vanderbilt.’
    • ‘I know what it means to live in terror, to run under air strikes and cannonades, to see people killed and houses destroyed, to starve and dream of a piece of bread, to miss even a glass of drinking water.’
    • ‘Surprisingly, after his cannonade of criticism, Kramer's book offers only small-bore recommendations, ‘modest’ by his own admission.’
    • ‘A desultory cannonade began at about 14.00, and as it seemed likely that there would be no battle that day Newcastle retired to his coach.’
    • ‘They were thrilled by the appearance of a l2-person heritage guard, a cannonade fired in salute and a fly past by a Navy Seahawk helicopter from HMAS ALBATROSS.’
    • ‘Riding a magnificent horse over flower-strewn, gold-embroidered carpets, greeted by cannonades and cheers, Jem happily confirms the rumour that ‘the Rhodian women were considered the loveliest in Europe‘.’
    • ‘This was a recipe for confusion and bloodshed; it culminated in the disastrous French cannonade on Damascus in November 1944.’
    • ‘An immersion theatre using the latest special effects will give visitors an idea of the bloody carnage that the relentless cannonade of grapeshot inflicted on the Jacobite lines.’
    • ‘In the 2000 ceremony, to make up for lost time, the Church created 860 additional saints, making this by far the biggest cannonade of saints ever set off in Russia.’
    • ‘The son et lumière raged off Southsea Common, watched by hundreds of thousands of people long past dusk, before a stunning 15-minute cannonade of fireworks lit up the Solent.’
    • ‘Three times the German armor attempted to break through, but, as more battalions of American artillery joined the cannonade, the enemy at last gave way.’
    • ‘Full-page ads in The New York Times and The Washington Post are now standard weapons for enviro campaigns, but no one had thought of using advertising as a cannonade before Brower.’
    • ‘All killings, all maimings, all arrogant demolishions of people's homes, all assassinations, all bombings, all suicide attacks, all aerial slaugherings, all tank cannonades, all invasions are inherently wrong.’
    • ‘What we need is a cannonade to knock out whoever might be there.’
    • ‘Soon after 6 pm the spasmodic barking of the night-time cannonade (now normal in spite of its intensity) gave place to a ‘kettle-drum bombardment’.’
    • ‘Yet, what impresses throughout is the highly imaginative state-of-the-art stagecraft depicting everything from cannonades against sailing ships to samurai massacres.’
    • ‘None of them were present at the famous cannonade, but their main forces were certainly caught up in the rain-soaked and disease-ravaged retreat which followed.’
    • ‘Brown intends to put this right in his budget speech next week, however, when he will launch a cannonade against what their cuts in services would mean.’
    • ‘I asked him if he sincerely thought that his daily cannonade of reports, forms, checks and feedbacks led to a better or worse health service, whether in the short term or the long.’
    bombardment, shelling, gunfire, artillery fire, barrage, battery, attack, pounding
    View synonyms


[no object]
  • Discharge heavy guns continuously.

    ‘the daily cannonading continued’
    • ‘As the straight drives cannonaded off Ranji's bat, father stopped bowling lest he get hurt!’
    • ‘During the three days no help came to Bellew and shortly after Hardress cannonaded the castle and town and took it.’
    • ‘The enormous guns are now cannonading & preparing the way for our infantry.’
    • ‘Even as the thunder rolled off the cliff faces in deafening, cannonading peals, a cuttingly cold wind turned the downpour to stinging, slanting, mist-laden torrents, making it difficult to see.’
    • ‘Raucous, sometimes almost spiritual singing, pushes from cellars, echoing and cannonading off the narrow whitewashed alleys.’
    • ‘Megalithic standing stones and a 5000 year-old passage grave, a twelfth century church ruin, a fourteenth century O'Driscoll castle, cannonaded in the early 1600s, suggest times past.’
    • ‘He has resumed with gusto his cannonading of Congress and the establishment, doing what he does best.’
    • ‘The winds buffeted the houses, slates blew off roofs and cannonaded against roads or windows in their path.’
    • ‘Her fears for her husband, who left two weeks later, were intensified when she heard cannonading from her own home.’
    • ‘During the fight the cannonading was so violent that the crew of the Naesborg could not stand erect on the deck.’
    • ‘We are looking daily for a big fight to come off, even now cannonading is distinctly heard.’
    • ‘Gouts of superheated water geysered, consumed by the column of fire, each rocketing fountain propelled heavenward by a deafening, heart-stopping concussion that left cannonading echoes in its wake.’


Mid 16th century: from French, from Italian cannonata, from cannone (see cannon).