ammunition


ammunition
\ \ [17] Ammunition is one of many words which resulted from a mistaken analysis of ‘article’ plus ‘noun’ (compare ADDER). In this case, French la munitionthe munitions, the supplies’ was misapprehended as l’ammunition, and borrowed thus into English. At first it was used for military supplies in general, and it does not seem to have been until the beginning of the 18th century that its meaning became restricted to ‘bullets, shells, etc’.
\ \ The word munition itself was borrowed into English from French in the 16th century. It originally meant ‘fortification’, and came from the Latin noun mūnītiō; this was a derivative of the verb munīre, ‘defend, fortify’, which in turn was based on the noun moeniawalls, ramparts’ (related to mūruswall’, the source of English mural). Also from munīre, via medieval Latin mūnīmentum, comes muniment [15], a legal term for ‘title deed’; the semantic connection is that a title deed is a means by which someone can ‘defend’ his or her legal right to property.
\ \ Cf.MUNIMENT, MUNITION, MURAL

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Ammunition — Am mu*ni tion, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Ammunitioned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Ammunitioning}.] To provide with ammunition. [1913 Webster] || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ammunition — Am mu*ni tion, n. [F. amunition, for munition, prob. caused by taking la munition as l amunition. See {Munition}.] 1. Military stores, or provisions of all kinds for attack or defense. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 2. Articles used in charging firearms… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ammunition — (n.) 1620s, from French soldiers faulty separation of M.Fr. la munition into l ammunition; from L. munitionem (nom. munitio) a fortifying (see MUNITION (Cf. munition)), and at first meaning all military supplies in general. The mistake in the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • ammunition — [am΄yo͞o nish′ən, am΄yənish′ən] n. [Fr amunition, by faulty separation of la munition: see MUNITIONS] 1. Obs. any military supplies 2. anything hurled by a weapon or exploded as a weapon, as bullets, gunpowder, shot, shells, bombs, grenades,… …   English World dictionary

  • Ammunition — (v. lat.), so v.w. Munition …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Ammunition — Ammunition, soviel wie Munition …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ammunition — Ammunition, was Munition, Schießbedarf …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • ammunition — I noun apparatus belli, armament, armature, arms, ballistics, cartridges, charge, defense, deterrent, explosive, firearms, gunnery, gunpowder, materials of combat, means of attack, muniment, munition, panoply, propellants, provisions, weapons II… …   Law dictionary

  • ammunition — artillery, materiel, munitions, *armament, ordnance, arms …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • ammunition — [n] projectiles for weaponry ammo*, armament, ball, bomb, buckshot, bullet, cannonball, cartridge, charge, chemical, confetti*, explosive, fuse, grenade, gunpowder, iron rations*, materiel, missile, munition, napalm, powder, rocket, round, shell …   New thesaurus

  • ammunition — ► NOUN 1) a supply or quantity of bullets and shells. 2) points used to support one s case in argument. ORIGIN from French la munition the fortification …   English terms dictionary


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