Definition of weapon noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈwepən//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwepən//
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  1. 1  an object such as a knife, gun, bomb, etc. that is used for fighting or attacking somebody nuclear weapons a lethal/deadly weapon The police still haven't found the murder weapon. He was charged with carrying an offensive weapon. Wordfinderarmy, artillery, battalion, command, defend, invade, officer, regiment, tactics, weapon CollocationsWar and peaceStarting a war declare/​make/​wage war (on somebody/​something) go to war (against/​with somebody) cause/​spark/​provoke/​foment/​quell unrest incite/​lead/​crush/​suppress a revolt/​rebellion launch/​mount/​carry out a surprise/​terrorist attack prevent/​halt/​represent an escalation of the conflict be torn apart by/​be on the brink of civil war enter/​invade/​occupy somebody’s territory lead/​launch/​resist/​repel an invasionMilitary operations adopt/​develop/​implement/​pursue a military strategy carry out/​execute/​perform military operations/​manoeuvres/(especially US English) maneuvers send/​deploy/​station/​pull back/​withdraw troops go on/​fly/​carry out a reconnaissance/​rescue mission train/​equip/​deploy army/​military/​combat units lead/​launch/​conduct a raid/​a surprise attack/​an (air/​airborne/​amphibious) assault (on somebody) employ/​use guerrilla tactics conduct/​wage biological/​guerrilla warfare fight/​crush/​defeat the rebels/​the insurgency suffer/​inflict a crushing defeat achieve/​win a decisive victory halt/​stop the British/​German/​Russian advance order/​force a retreatFighting join/​serve in the army/​navy/​air force be/​go/​remain/​serve on active duty serve/​complete/​return from a tour of duty be sent to the front (line) attack/​strike/​engage/​defeat/​kill/​destroy the enemy see/​report/​be engaged in heavy fighting call for/​be met with armed resistance come under heavy/​machine-gun/​mortar fire fire a machine-gun/​mortar shells/​rockets (at somebody/​something) shoot a rifle/​a pistol/​bullets/​missiles launch/​fire a cruise/​ballistic/​anti-tank missile use biological/​chemical/​nuclear weapons inflict/​suffer/​sustain heavy losses/​casualties be hit/​killed by enemy/​friendly/​artillery fire become/​be held as a prisoner of warCivilians in war harm/​kill/​target/​protect innocent/​unarmed civilians cause/​avoid/​limit/​minimize civilian casualties/​collateral damage impose/​enforce/​lift a curfew engage in/​be a victim of ethnic cleansing be sent to an internment/​a concentration camp accept/​house/​resettle refugees fleeing from war fear/​threaten military/​violent reprisals commit/​be accused of war crimes/​crimes against humanity/​genocideMaking peace make/​bring/​win/​achieve/​maintain/​promote peace call for/​negotiate/​broker/​declare a ceasefire/​a temporary truce sign a ceasefire agreement call for/​bring/​put an end to hostilities demand/​negotiate/​accept the surrender of somebody/​something establish/​send (in) a peacekeeping force negotiate/​conclude/​ratify/​sign/​accept/​reject/​break/​violate a peace treaty see also biological weapon, chemical weapon
  2. 2  something such as knowledge, words, actions, etc. that can be used to attack or fight against somebody/something Education is the only weapon to fight the spread of the disease. Guilt is the secret weapon for the control of children.
  3. Word OriginOld English wǣp(e)n, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wapen and German Waffe.Extra examples ‘Load your weapons!’ Barrett ordered. A massive weapons cache was uncovered. Drop your weapons, or he dies! He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. She pleaded guilty to carrying an offensive weapon. She used humour and wit as weapons against her enemies. The armed men lowered their weapons and stepped aside. The assault forces used heavy weapons, including anti-tank rockets and mortars. The guards began to draw their weapons. The team’s secret weapon was their new young defender. The workers’ ultimate weapon was the strike. This relaxation technique can serve as an effective weapon against stress. a ban on the use of tactical nuclear weapons a biological weapons facility a sophisticated weapons platform arrested for carrying a concealed weapon nuclear weapons proliferation states developing weapons of mass destruction states that have acquired nuclear weapons the illegal transfer of weapons technology to hostile countries 14 people were killed when men armed with automatic weapons opened fire on the crowd. Almost any bladed or sharply pointed article is potentially a lethal weapon. He was charged with carrying an offensive weapon. Modern nuclear weapons are much more destructive than either biological or chemical weapons. The police still haven’t found the murder weapon.Idioms
    be a double-edged sword/weapon
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    to be something that has both advantages and disadvantages
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: weapon