Definition of musket in US English:



  • An infantryman's light gun with a long barrel, typically smooth-bored, muzzleloading, and fired from the shoulder.

    as modifier ‘a volley of musket fire’
    • ‘Instead, he saw the men walking calmly, saw them carefully scanning the terrain ahead of them, muskets ready to 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.’
    • ‘What nerve it must have taken to run into the face of massed musket fire.’


Late 16th century: from French mousquet, from Italian moschetto ‘crossbow bolt’, from mosca ‘a fly’.