1. a treeless grassy plain
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.
As swift as a pellet out of a gunne
When fire is in the powder runne. --Chaucer.
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.
2. (Mil.) A piece of heavy ordnance; in a restricted sense, a
3. pl. (Naut.) Violent blasts of wind.
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.
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
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
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
To blow great guns (Naut.), to blow a gale. See Gun, n.,
[1913 Webster +PJC]
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.
From the forests and the prairies,
From the great lakes of the northland. --Longfellow.
2. A meadow or tract of grass; especially, a so called
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
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,
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
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.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a treeless grassy plain
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
145 Moby Thesaurus words for "prairie":
Lebensraum, agricultural region, air space, alkali flat,
alluvial plain, arable land, back country, basin, billiard table,
black belt, bottomland, bowling green, bushveld, campo, champaign,
champaign country, citrus belt, clear space, clearance, clearing,
coastal plain, corn belt, cotton belt, countryside, dead flat,
dead level, delta, desert, distant prospect, down, downs,
dust bowl, earth, empty view, esplanade, farm belt, farm country,
farmland, fell, flat, flat country, flatland, flats, floor,
fruit belt, glade, grass, grass roots, grass veld, grassland,
grazing, grazing region, ground, haugh, haughland, heath,
highlands, homaloid, horizontal, horizontal axis, horizontal fault,
horizontal line, horizontal parallax, horizontal plane,
horizontal projection, lande, lea, ledge, level, level line,
level plane, living space, llano, lowland, lowlands, lunar mare,
mare, mead, meadow, meadow land, meadows and pastures,
mean sea level, mesa, mesilla, moor, moorland, moors, open country,
open space, outback, pampa, pampas, park, parterre, pasturage,
pasture, pasture land, peneplain, plain, plains, plane, plateau,
platform, playa, prairies, province, provinces, range,
rural district, rustic region, salt flat, salt marsh, salt pan,
savanna, sea level, sea of grass, sebkha, steppe, steppeland,
steppes, swale, table, tableland, terrace, terrain, territory,
the country, the soil, the sticks, tobacco belt, tree veld, tundra,
upland, uplands, vega, veld, water level, weald, wheat belt,
wide-open spaces, wilderness, wold, woodland, woods and fields,
U.S. Gazetteer Counties (2000):
Prairie -- U.S. County in Montana
Population (2000): 1199
Housing Units (2000): 718
Land area (2000): 1736.550909 sq. miles (4497.646015 sq. km)
Water area (2000): 6.004578 sq. miles (15.551784 sq. km)
Total area (2000): 1742.555487 sq. miles (4513.197799 sq. km)
Located within: Montana (MT), FIPS 30
Location: 46.887225 N, 105.368636 W
Prairie County, MT
U.S. Gazetteer Counties (2000):
Prairie -- U.S. County in Arkansas
Population (2000): 9539
Housing Units (2000): 4790
Land area (2000): 645.934412 sq. miles (1672.962375 sq. km)
Water area (2000): 29.826888 sq. miles (77.251283 sq. km)
Total area (2000): 675.761300 sq. miles (1750.213658 sq. km)
Located within: Arkansas (AR), FIPS 05
Location: 34.807983 N, 91.534077 W
Prairie County, AR