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

  • noun Any of various automatic or semiautomatic rifles designed for individual use in combat.

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

  • noun 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.
  • noun colloquial Any assault weapon.

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

  • noun any of the automatic rifles or semiautomatic rifles with large magazines designed for military use


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.


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