American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A gun that fires rapidly and repeatedly.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A gun which, by means of a variously contrived mechanism, delivers a continuous fire of projectiles. Such a gun may have a single barrel, or a series of barrels arranged horizontally or about a central axis. Machine-guns may be divided into two classes: those firing small-arm ammunition (also called
mitrailleuses), and those firing shot and shell (called revolving cannon). The rapidity of fire of the most rapid machine-guns of the first class is about 1,000 shots a minute. (See Gatling gun, under gun.) The Maxim gun is a single-barreled machine-gun invented by Hiram Maxim, an American. In it the force of recoil is utilized to load and prepare the next charge for firing, and a water-chamber surrounding the machinery keeps the parts cool. It is a very ingenious and efficient invention. The Lowell battery-gun has four barrels capable of being rotated by a lever, independently of the lock- and breech-mechanism. The firing is confined to one barrel at a time, until this becomes heated or disabled, when it may be rotated to one side in order to bring another barrel into action. One lock only is used. The Taylor machine-gun has five parallel barrels arranged horizontally. The Gardner machine-gun has two to five barrels arranged horizontally. Its mechanism is simple, strong, and effective, but it can fire only about 350 shots a minute. The Farwell machine-gun consists of a group of ten steel barrels of 0.45 inch bore, each barrel having its own magazine, containing 50 cartridges. The operations of firing, extracting the empty shells, and reloading are accomplished by a single revolution of a crank. The Hotchkiss revolving cannon is the type of the second class of machine-guns. It combines the advantages of long-range shell-firing with rapidity of action. It has five barrels arranged around a central axis; and the breech is fixed and contains the loading-, firing-, and extracting-mechanism. The rotation is intermittent, and the loading, firing, and extraction of the empty shell are performed while the barrels are at rest. This gun fires from 30 to 80 rounds of explosive shells in a minute, thus delivering from 750 to 2,000 fragments of shell with sufficient force to destroy life. There are many forms of this gun, each designed for a special object. One form, designed for flank defense of the ditches of fortifications, has every barrel rifled with a different twist, so arranged as to produce five different cones of dispersion, thus sweeping the ditch from end to end. The Nordenfelt machine-gun was designed as a defense against torpedo-boats. It is made with 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, or 12 barrels, and it can fire either volleys or single barrels. In case a barrel becomes clogged or disabled, the supply of cartridges can be cut off from it and the firing continued with the other barrels.
- n. A type of firearm that continuously fires bullets in rapid succession by a single action of the trigger.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. a breech-loading gun or a group of such guns, mounted on a carriage or other holder, and having a reservoir containing cartridges which are loaded into the gun or guns and fired in rapid succession. In earlier models, such as the Gatling gun, the cartridges were loaded by machinery operated by turning a crank. In modern versions the loading of cartidges is accomplished by levers operated by the recoil of the explosion driving the bullet, or by the pressure of gas within the barrel. Several hundred shots can be fired in a minute by such weapons, with accurate aim. The Gatling gun, Gardner gun, Hotchkiss gun, and Nordenfelt gun, named for their inventors, and the French mitrailleuse, are
- n. See under Gun.
- n. A fully automatic rapid-firing rifle, which continues to fire bullets repeatedly as long as the trigger is depressed; lighter versions may be carried in the hands, and heavier versions may be mounted on a tripod, vehicle, or other mount. The lighweight versions are sometimes called a submachine gun.
- v. shoot with a machine gun
- n. a rapidly firing automatic gun (often mounted)
“An M60 machine gun started up, a constant manic chatter to accompany the screaming.”
“Indicative of how dangerous it became were the physical changes that took place over the course of the war at the Baghdad bureau of the New York Times, which gradually morphed into a fortress festooned with searchlights and machine gun emplacements on its roof, surrounded by concrete blast walls, a foot thick and twenty feet high, protected by forty armed guards.”
“The machine gun in Tolland's hands was worthless; even from here Delta-One could see the cocking bar assembly had kicked back, indicating the clip was empty.”
“By then, the zeppelin was less than a mile away, but Naismith, mindful of orders to destroy British seaplanes that could not be brought home, ordered a machine gun brought up to the conning tower and had a seaman begin firing at the floats of the three empty seaplanes.”
“Another machine gun joined the first and the light mortar squad sent a round over there, poink.”
“We attacked with our own RATs and we floated in on rafts protected by Boatman, who armored the sides of his red Boat and mounted a machine gun captured from federal forces.”
“It was the sharp sputter of a machine gun from the direction of the gate, a pause and another burst; an eddy of sleep-memory indicated that it had begun before the helicopter's arrival, so it could not be that they were gunning.”
“Tlie word was damn, a cannon burst of outrage that was followed by a machine gun fusillade of a lot of other words of one syllable.”
“Ma Deuce, from the heavy machine gun designation which is M-2.”
“Bursts of machine gun fire slammed into the motorcycle's sidecar.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘machine gun’.
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I will also accept mechanisms, machine elements, contrivances, and engines.
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words andy thinks of when I ask him to think of a word
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