1. An instrument of offensive of defensive combat; something to fight with; anything used, or designed to be used, in destroying, defeating, or injuring an enemy, as a gun, a sword, etc. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal." (2 Cor. X. 4) "They, astonished, all resistance lost, All courage; down their idle weapons dropped." (Milton)

2. The means or instrument with which one contends against another; as, argument was his only weapon. "Woman's weapons, water drops."

3. <botany> A thorn, prickle, or sting with which many plants are furnished. Concealed weapons. See Concealed. Weapon salve, a salve which was supposed to cure a wound by being applied to the weapon that made it.

Origin: OE. Wepen, AS. Wpen; akin to OS. Wpan, OFries. Wpin, wpen, D. Wapen, G. Waffe, OHG. Waffan, wafan, Icel. Vapn, Dan. Vaaben, Sw. Vapen, Goth. Wpna, pl.; of uncertain origin. Cf. Wapentake.

(01 Mar 1998)

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