American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A heavy portable matchlock gun invented during the 15th century. Also called hackbut.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An old form of hand-firearm. The earliest hand-guns having been mere tubes fired by a burning match applied to the touch-hole, the name harquebus was given to a gun fitted with a match-holder which came down upon the priming-pan when a trigger was pulled. Later, when the wheel-lock was introduced, a piece fitted with it was still called a harquebus. After the musket had been introduced into the French army (about 1575), the harquebus remained the favorite weapon of private persons, because it was lighter and was supposed to have greater precision. It was not a heavy arm, and was rarely fired from a rest, except by horsemen, who had a light rest secured to the saddle-bow. But during the sixteenth century many experiments were made with firearms throwing balls of six or even four to the pound, mounted on swivels, for rampart-defense, and these, when fitted with a match-lock, were called
great harquebuses; in like manner arquebuse à croc, or ‘with a rest,’ was a name given to a heavy but still portable weapon, which was superseded by the musket.
- n. A harquebusier.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A firearm with match holder, trigger, and tumbler, made in the second half of the 15th century. The barrel was about forty inches long. A form of harquebus was subsequently called arquebus with matchlock.
- n. an obsolete firearm with a long barrel
- Obsolete French harquebuse, from Old French, alteration of Middle Dutch hakebus : hake, hook; + busse, gun (from Late Latin buxis, box). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“It was also typical that the prosecutor would have enlisted someone else to deliver it, one of the lads who regarded Arkady as ancient and as unpredictable as a loaded harquebus.”
“Malinalli had not yet finished translating these last words when the discharge of a harquebus signaled the beginning of the slaughter.”
“Without the mastery of the language, his weapons were useless; it would be like using a harquebus as a club instead of firing it.”
“Ruby had taken the relic piece — more relative to the harquebus than to the current fashion in rifles — and hunted wild turkey and deer through the winter, jerking the venison by the fire like an Indian.”
“Raising the harquebus, Sulu fired and was almost knocked down by the heavy weapon.”
“Ruby had taken the relic piece -- more relative to the harquebus than to the current fashion in rifles -- and hunted wild turkey and deer through the winter, jerking the venison by the fire like an Indian.”
“I also see a modern U. S.-made rifle, an AK-47, or a harquebus from the times of the Spanish conquistadors.”
“Mary could see Riccio grab on to the bedpost in the bedroom, only to have his fingers clubbed with the stock of a harquebus.”
“In later ages students will say, "Ah, in Scotland a new player came to fight," just as we now study siege-machines and the catapult and the harquebus.”
“He is even more calculating and slow-moving than Catherine de Medicis, and fancies himself the champion of the Church; now that the Pope has condemned me, he would never lift a finger or a sword or a harquebus to restore me.”
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