Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An antiaircraft gun.
  • noun Antiaircraft fire.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Mil.) Artillery designed to shoot upward at airplanes; antiaircraft artillery.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Antiaircraft artillery.
  • noun uncountable Antiaircraft fire
  • adjective Of or relating to antiaircraft warfare.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun artillery designed to shoot upward at airplanes

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[British telephone code for AA, abbreviation for antiaircraft.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From ack ("A") + ack ("A"), RAF WWI signalese for AA ("anti-aircraft"). (In modern signalese it would be called alpha-alpha.)

Examples

  • Studying this catalog of wicked devices, Jane observed herself beginning to undergo that change from rookie to hardened field veteran, barely flinching at the sound of ack-ack guns coming from next door, where soldiers practiced shooting at a towed target.

    A Covert Affair

  • Studying this catalog of wicked devices, Jane observed herself beginning to undergo that change from rookie to hardened field veteran, barely flinching at the sound of ack-ack guns coming from next door, where soldiers practiced shooting at a towed target.

    A Covert Affair

  • Three of us who had talked escape, Mullins, Ford and myself, took off in the pandemonium of ack-ack, bombs, strafing and napalm that hit a nearby building.

    Heroes or Villains?

  • My favorite was one I painted with a white and blue belly so it was camouflaged to look like clouds and sky to the Nazi ack-ack gunners below.

    Lance Mannion:

  • My favorite was one I painted with a white and blue belly so it was camouflaged to look like clouds and sky to the Nazi ack-ack gunners below.

    Moving metal, sniffing glue

  • Through the battered century of world wars and massive violence by other means, there had always been an undervoice that spoke through the cannon fire and ack-ack and that sometimes grew strong enough to merge with the battle sounds.

    Underworld

  • Through the battered century of world wars and massive violence by other means, there had always been an undervoice that spoke through the cannon fire and ack-ack and that sometimes grew strong enough to merge with the battle sounds.

    Underworld

  • Through the battered century of world wars and massive violence by other means, there had always been an undervoice that spoke through the cannon fire and ack-ack and that sometimes grew strong enough to merge with the battle sounds.

    Underworld

  • Though when he tells the Iranians about shooting down their planes, I would like him to specify that it's not the United States, necessarily doing it, and it's certainly not me, but it's himself, Newt Gingrich, the John Wayne of WWIII, who will be behind the ack-ack gun.

    Larry Beinhart: Ah, World War III, Newt Gingrich is Calling You

  • After an hour of the deafening ack-ack of the engine, we arrived at the muddy coast of Moheshkhali.

    Johann Hari: A Journey Across the Ground Zero of Global Warming

Comments

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  • "It was a mixed day of planes, one moment Jerry, then the RAF, then Jerry. The Ack-Ack boys took no chances and fired at the lot. The Major was nearly out of mind by day's end trying to co-ordinate our efforts for maximum retaliation."

    - Spike Milligan, 'Mussolini: My Part In His Downfall.'

    April 19, 2009

  • My resort to a well known search engine for info on British telephone code yielded not ack-ack, but 44! In this instance Wordnik's etymologies (alpha+) are more helpful than its definitions, which appear restrictively current.

    July 9, 2013