from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A plug or cover for the muzzle of a cannon or gun to keep out dust and moisture.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A wooden plug, or a metal or canvas cover for the muzzle of a gun, a cannon or other piece of ordnance when not in use; a stopper; a bung.
- n. A plug for the upper end of an organ pipe.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A wooden stopper, or plug, as for a cannon or other piece of ordnance, when not in use.
- n. A plug for upper end of an organ pipe.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A stopper; a plug; a bung.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. plug for the muzzle of a gun to keep out dust and moisture
Re the applicator issue, see also the French 'tampion' - a stopper for the barrel of a gun or cannon; but probably not Tampere which is known as Finland's Manchester ... although now I come to think of it ...
A dome covering the bore may prove to be a tampion, a plug used to seal the gun when not in use.
Hornblower took out the tampion and went round to the breech; he twirled the elevating screw until his eye told him that the gun was at the maximum elevation at which it could be run out.
A tampion, or wad, of oakum or the like, was rammed down between the cartridge and the ball, and a second wad kept the ball in place.
_Thampion (tampon_, Fr., a bung, cork, or plug of wood) is now written _tampion_, and signifies the stopper with which the mouths of cannon are closed up, to prevent the admission of rain, or sea water, whereby their charges might be rendered incapable of service.
But when this tampion at this  castle did light,
Our antiquary writes like one unacquainted with his subject; no man, I believe, ever talked _of charging_ a gun with a _tampion_; neither would the said _tampion_ (consisting of a piece of hard oak) have done much less mischief than a stone, if pointed from the Thames at the Queen's
He took the tarpaulin from the breech and the tampion from the muzzle, cast off the lashings which secured it, and saw that the swivel moved freely in the socket and the trunnions freely in the crotch.
[Tamkin, or tampion, the wooden stopper of a cannon placed in the muzzle to exclude water or dust.] in his guns.
For the last fifty years it has spoken only the language of politeness and courtesy, and yet through want of care the tampion, as you see, has become swollen and choked in its mouth. "