American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various automatic or semiautomatic rifles designed for individual use in combat.
- n. A military style automatic rifle or carbine that fires a shortened rifle caliber round or lower power smaller calibre round larger than pistol ammunition from a high capacity magazine.
- n. colloquial Any assault weapon.
- n. any of the automatic rifles or semiautomatic rifles with large magazines designed for military use
- Calqued from German Sturmgewehr ("assault rifle", (literally) "storm rifle"). The Maschinenpistole 44 was called the Sturmgewehr by Adolf Hitler, whence it was renamed to represent the separate class of firearm it represented. From assault + rifle. (Wiktionary)
“Turf wars, the occasional hardhead who goes for the assault rifle when the raid team shows, bitterness over price hikes or debts owed.”
“Add the fact that he'd painted the word WILL on his garage and certain assumptions were made, assumptions which were deflated two years later when the man whose name was not Will sat on his roof with a Korean-made, assault rifle and shot out the windows of about a dozen cars and houses in the neighborhood and murdered two dogs and six mailboxes before walking up to the county sheriff's car and surrendering to the two frightened deputies huddling on its floor.”
“The Israeli Bullpup full-auto assault rifle that he'd chosen was cool, slick, and black and curved as a snake, but he couldn't really see it in the dark.”
“No, this is it: our main force struck the south wall like a tsunami, the soldiers of Mochs unable physically or psychologically to handle a force of Celtic warriors dyed completely blue, screaming like banshees, an assault rifle in each hand.”
“Completed, made whole, it looked like a standard M4 assault rifle after six years in the gym, the familiar lines where they should be, but the whole thing amplified and extended, thickened, lengthened, densified, packed with strength and weight.”
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