Definition of chassepot in US English:



  • A type of bolt-action breech-loading rifle used by the French army between 1866 and 1874.

    • ‘Two thousand chassepots fell into the hands of the people.’
    • ‘He joins his volunteers and attacks Rome; on 25 October he triumphs in Monterotondo but is defeated in Mentana by modern French chassepots.’
    • ‘The French had a good breech-loading rifle, the chassepot, also the mitrailleuse, a primitive machine gun, but their muzzle-loading artillery was outclassed by Prussian breech-loaders.’
    • ‘My company had ninety-eight rifles (we had not yet received the chassepots).’
    • ‘The Prussians suffered over 4,400 casualties, which, allowing for their superiority in artillery, still demonstrates the effectiveness of the French chassepot.’


Named for Antoine A. Chassepot (1833–1905), its French designer.