from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Fragments from an exploded artillery shell, mine, or bomb.
- n. A 19th-century artillery shell containing metal balls, designed to explode in the air above enemy troops.
- n. The metal balls in such a weapon.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A collective term for shot, fragments, or debris thrown out by an exploding shell or landmine.
- n. Loose change.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Applied as an appellation to a kind of shell invented by Gen. H. Shrapnel of the British army.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A shell filled with bullets and a small bursting-charge just sufficient to split it open and release the bullets at any given point, generally about 80 yards before reaching the object aimed at. After the explosion of the shell, the bullets and fragments fly onward in a shower.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. shell containing lead pellets that explodes in flight
After Henry Shrapnel (1761-1842), British army officer.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Henry Shrapnel, British army officer who invented an anti-personnel shell that transported a large number of bullets to the target before releasing them, at a far greater distance than rifles could fire the bullets individually. (Wiktionary)