prairie


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Gun \Gun\ (g[u^]n), n. [OE. gonne, gunne; of uncertain origin;
   cf. Ir., Gael., & LL. gunna, W. gum; possibly (like cannon)
   fr. L. canna reed, tube; or abbreviated fr. OF. mangonnel, E.
   mangonel, a machine for hurling stones.]
   1. A weapon which throws or propels a missile to a distance;
      any firearm or instrument for throwing projectiles,
      consisting of a tube or barrel closed at one end, in which
      the projectile is placed, with an explosive charge (such
      as guncotton or gunpowder) behind, which is ignited by
      various means. Pistols, rifles, carbines, muskets, and
      fowling pieces are smaller guns, for hand use, and are
      called small arms. Larger guns are called cannon,
      ordnance, fieldpieces, carronades, howitzers, etc.
      See these terms in the Vocabulary.
      [1913 Webster]

            As swift as a pellet out of a gunne
            When fire is in the powder runne.     --Chaucer.
      [1913 Webster]

            The word gun was in use in England for an engine to
            cast a thing from a man long before there was any
            gunpowder found out.                  --Selden.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. (Mil.) A piece of heavy ordnance; in a restricted sense, a
      cannon.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. pl. (Naut.) Violent blasts of wind.
      [1913 Webster]

   Note: Guns are classified, according to their construction or
         manner of loading as rifled or smoothbore,
         breech-loading or muzzle-loading, cast or
         built-up guns; or according to their use, as field,
         mountain, prairie, seacoast, and siege guns.
         [1913 Webster]

   Armstrong gun, a wrought iron breech-loading cannon named
      after its English inventor, Sir William Armstrong.

   Big gun or Great gun, a piece of heavy ordnance; hence
      (Fig.), a person superior in any way; as, bring in the big
      guns to tackle the problem.

   Gun barrel, the barrel or tube of a gun.

   Gun carriage, the carriage on which a gun is mounted or
      moved.

   Gun cotton (Chem.), a general name for a series of
      explosive nitric ethers of cellulose, obtained by steeping
      cotton in nitric and sulphuric acids. Although there are
      formed substances containing nitric acid radicals, yet the
      results exactly resemble ordinary cotton in appearance. It
      burns without ash, with explosion if confined, but quietly
      and harmlessly if free and open, and in small quantity.
      Specifically, the lower nitrates of cellulose which are
      insoluble in ether and alcohol in distinction from the
      highest (pyroxylin) which is soluble. See Pyroxylin, and
      cf. Xyloidin. The gun cottons are used for blasting and
      somewhat in gunnery: for making celluloid when compounded
      with camphor; and the soluble variety (pyroxylin) for
      making collodion. See Celluloid, and Collodion. Gun
      cotton is frequenty but improperly called
      nitrocellulose. It is not a nitro compound, but an ester
      of nitric acid.

   Gun deck. See under Deck.

   Gun fire, the time at which the morning or the evening gun
      is fired.

   Gun metal, a bronze, ordinarily composed of nine parts of
      copper and one of tin, used for cannon, etc. The name is
      also given to certain strong mixtures of cast iron.

   Gun port (Naut.), an opening in a ship through which a
      cannon's muzzle is run out for firing.

   Gun tackle (Naut.), the blocks and pulleys affixed to the
      side of a ship, by which a gun carriage is run to and from
      the gun port.

   Gun tackle purchase (Naut.), a tackle composed of two
      single blocks and a fall. --Totten.

   Krupp gun, a wrought steel breech-loading cannon, named
      after its German inventor, Herr Krupp.

   Machine gun, a breech-loading gun or a group of such guns,
      mounted on a carriage or other holder, and having a
      reservoir containing cartridges which are loaded into the
      gun or guns and fired in rapid succession. In earlier
      models, such as the Gatling gun, the cartridges were
      loaded by machinery operated by turning a crank. In modern
      versions the loading of cartidges is accomplished by
      levers operated by the recoil of the explosion driving the
      bullet, or by the pressure of gas within the barrel.
      Several hundred shots can be fired in a minute by such
      weapons, with accurate aim. The Gatling gun, {Gardner
      gun}, Hotchkiss gun, and Nordenfelt gun, named for
      their inventors, and the French mitrailleuse, are
      machine guns.

   To blow great guns (Naut.), to blow a gale. See Gun, n.,
      3.
      [1913 Webster +PJC]
.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Prairie \Prai"rie\, n. [F., an extensive meadow, OF. praerie,
   LL. prataria, fr. L. pratum a meadow.]
   1. An extensive tract of level or rolling land, destitute of
      trees, covered with coarse grass, and usually
      characterized by a deep, fertile soil. They abound
      throughout the Mississippi valley, between the Alleghanies
      and the Rocky mountains.
      [1913 Webster]

            From the forests and the prairies,
            From the great lakes of the northland. --Longfellow.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. A meadow or tract of grass; especially, a so called
      natural meadow.
      [1913 Webster]

   Prairie chicken (Zool.), any American grouse of the genus
      Tympanuchus, especially Tympanuchus Americanus
      (formerly Tympanuchus cupido), which inhabits the
      prairies of the central United States. Applied also to the
      sharp-tailed grouse.

   Prairie clover (Bot.), any plant of the leguminous genus
      Petalostemon, having small rosy or white flowers in
      dense terminal heads or spikes. Several species occur in
      the prairies of the United States.

   Prairie dock (Bot.), a coarse composite plant ({Silphium
      terebinthaceum}) with large rough leaves and yellow
      flowers, found in the Western prairies.

   Prairie dog (Zool.), a small American rodent ({Cynomys
      Ludovicianus}) allied to the marmots. It inhabits the
      plains west of the Mississippi. The prairie dogs burrow in
      the ground in large warrens, and have a sharp bark like
      that of a dog. Called also prairie marmot.

   Prairie grouse. Same as Prairie chicken, above.

   Prairie hare (Zool.), a large long-eared Western hare
      (Lepus campestris). See Jack rabbit, under 2d Jack.
      

   Prairie hawk, Prairie falcon (Zool.), a falcon of Western
      North America (Falco Mexicanus). The upper parts are
      brown. The tail has transverse bands of white; the under
      parts, longitudinal streaks and spots of brown.

   Prairie hen. (Zool.) Same as Prairie chicken, above.

   Prairie itch (Med.), an affection of the skin attended with
      intense itching, which is observed in the Northern and
      Western United States; -- also called swamp itch,
      winter itch.

   Prairie marmot. (Zool.) Same as Prairie dog, above.

   Prairie mole (Zool.), a large American mole ({Scalops
      argentatus}), native of the Western prairies.

   Prairie pigeon, Prairie plover, or Prairie snipe
      (Zool.), the upland plover. See Plover, n., 2.

   Prairie rattlesnake (Zool.), the massasauga.

   Prairie snake (Zool.), a large harmless American snake
      (Masticophis flavigularis). It is pale yellow, tinged
      with brown above.

   Prairie squirrel (Zool.), any American ground squirrel of
      the genus Spermophilus, inhabiting prairies; -- called
      also gopher.

   Prairie turnip (Bot.), the edible turnip-shaped farinaceous
      root of a leguminous plant (Psoralea esculenta) of the
      Upper Missouri region; also, the plant itself. Called also
      pomme blanche, and pomme de prairie.

   Prairie warbler (Zool.), a bright-colored American warbler
      (Dendroica discolor). The back is olive yellow, with a
      group of reddish spots in the middle; the under parts and
      the parts around the eyes are bright yellow; the sides of
      the throat and spots along the sides, black; three outer
      tail feathers partly white.

   Prairie wolf. (Zool.) See Coyote.
      [1913 Webster]
Feedback Form