gunnery (uncountable)

  1. (uncountable) The science of guns and gunfire including aspects of bullet flight and impact.
    • 1879, W[illiam] S[chwenck] Gilbert; Arthur Sullivan, composer, “I am the very pattern of a modern major-gineral”, in The Pirates of Penzance  […], Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart & Co., published 1880, OCLC 1013339033 ↗, page 17 ↗:
      When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery— / When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery,—
  2. (uncountable) The design and manufacture of guns, particularly those of a large caliber.
    • 1888–1891, Herman Melville, “[Billy Budd, Foretopman.] Chapter VII.”, in Billy Budd and Other Stories, London: John Lehmann, published 1951, OCLC 639975898 ↗, page 244 ↗:
      Originally, doubtless, that petty officer's function was the instruction of the men in the use of arms, sword, or cutlass. But very long ago, owing to the advance in gunnery, making hand-to-hand encounters less frequent, and giving to nitre and sulphur the preeminence over steel, that function ceased [...]
  3. (uncountable) The firing of guns
    • 1920, Wilfred Owen, "Exposure" in Poems, London: Chatto & Windus, p. 18,
      Northward incessantly, the flickering gunnery rumbles, / Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war.
    • 1973, Jaroslav Hašek, The Good Soldier Švejk, translated by Cecil Parrott, London: William Heinemann, Chapter 5, p. 438,
      The 12th march company telephoned claiming that someone in the office had heard that they were waiting to do some shooting practice at moveable targets and that they would only leave after gunnery practice under front conditions.
  4. (countable) A place where guns are tested, or where people are trained in their use

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