Definition of carbine in English:



  • 1A light automatic rifle.

    • ‘What was needed was a carbine or a short-barreled rifle that would fire an intermediate-weight cartridge and was capable of full automatic fire.’
    • ‘One of such newly developed weapons for airborne forces of Nazi Germany were light carbines that could use standard ammunition.’
    • ‘But as the war progressed the bolt action rifle was increasingly supplemented, or replaced, by carbines and by a variety of other automatic and semi-automatic firearms.’
    • ‘All four Crusader Blue tanks engaged the enemy on both sides of the road with coax,.50-caliber, and M240 loader's machine guns, M4 carbines, and M9 pistols.’
    • ‘There stood eight CIA operatives, dressed in black, holding various submachine guns and assault carbines.’
    • ‘If the family is in the safe room and the intruders are kicking down that door, the carbine, rifle or shotgun comes into its own.’
    • ‘Mainly there are modern weapons in the game - weapons that were present-day in 1978: knives, pistols, shotguns, carbines, sniper rifles.’
    • ‘These included a shortened carbine, a sniper rifle, a belt-fed light machine gun, and a heavy-barreled squad automatic weapon.’
    • ‘Some people think fighting with a sniper rifle is somehow entirely different than fighting with a carbine, handgun or a shotgun.’
    • ‘The most common Arisaka models one comes across today at shows are the long rifles, short rifles, and carbines.’
    • ‘Several buildings were examined and stores of grenades, Russian and Chinese machine guns, automatic carbines, uniforms and military equipment, including a tonne of ammunition, were found.’
    • ‘In answer, many departments, individual officers and armed civilians have turned to semi-automatic rifles or carbines in either pistol calibers or .223 for use as tactical long guns.’
    • ‘By simply changing the barrel or adding a bipod the AUG can change from a conventional rifle to an assault rifle, carbine, or light machine gun.’
    • ‘Armalite offers a comprehensive line of .223, .243 and .308 caliber rifles and carbines.’
    • ‘Pistol-caliber semiautomatic carbines are light and handy, particularly easy for smaller or weaker people to deploy.’
    • ‘Seventy-five city policemen and Mississippi State Police officers armed with carbines, submachine guns, shotguns, service revolvers and some personal weapons, responded to the call.’
    • ‘A large part of Beretta's advertising campaign has been the ability to convert the Neos from a pistol to a light carbine without any tools, however, so far there has been no word on availability or price of this upgrade.’
    • ‘The pistol-caliber carbine, with its light recoil and mild report, offers an intimidating appearance when seen by a burglar at gunpoint.’
    • ‘He joined in with automatic fire from his carbine and threw grenades at the enemy, whose attacks were accompanied by bugles, whistles, flares and supporting mortar bursts.’
    • ‘While you can look for a lot more PDs to swap shotguns for rifles and carbines, the wave of the future may be stocking each vehicle with shotgun and compact auto rifle.’
    1. 1.1historical A short rifle or musket used by cavalry.
      • ‘They shouldered responsibility, faith and idealism along with muskets, carbines and courage.’
      • ‘The 7th Cavalry, with single-shot carbines, was quite simply outgunned by the Indians who had repeating rifles.’
      • ‘The introduction of the percussion lock in the early 19th century did little for the design of the military pistol and it was being replaced by the carbine by mid-century, pistols being reserved solely for issue to senior NCOs.’
      • ‘The infantry of both armies in the Civil War for the first time used muzzle-loading rifled muskets, while cavalry with breech-loading carbines fought dismounted.’
      • ‘One of the most distinctive, interesting and fairly common models of the Carcano is the Cavalry carbine.’


Early 17th century: from French carabine, from carabin mounted musketeer of unknown origin.