From the second edition (1989):
artillery, n.
(ɑːˈtɪlərɪ) Forms: 4 artel-, artilrie, 5 artellerye, artilȝery, artylery, -lrye, artailȝierie, 5–6 artyllerye, artillary, -arie, -ari, 6 artelere, artellere, artilerie, artylary, -llary, -lerey, 6–7 artillerie, 6– artillery. See also artaillie, artry. [a. OFr. artillerie, arteillerie, cogn. w. It. arti-, arteglieria, Sp. artillaria, Pg. arti-, artelharia, Pr. artilharia: see artiller and -ery.]


1. Warlike munitions, implements of war; ammunition in the wide sense. Obs.

c1386 Chaucer Melib. ⁋367, I shal warnestoore myn hous with toures swiche as han Castelles and othere manere edifices and Armure and Artelries [v.r. artelleryes] by whiche thynges I may my persone and myn hous‥deffenden. 1481 Act 11 Jas. III (1597) §82 Victualles, men and artailȝierie. 1485 Caxton Chas. Gt. (1880) 162 Anone the artylleryes were assembled. 1550–63 Machyn Diary (1848) 191 All maner of artelere as drumes, flutes, trumpetes, gones, mores pykes, halbardes. 1582 Lanc. Wills (1857) I. 132, I geave‥all maner of artyllerye or harneysse, as jack, salett, whyte harnesse. 1625 tr. Gonsalvius' Span. Inquis., A cunning huntsman with all his furniture, hauing his artillery about him, his snares, grinnes, heyes, dogges, &c. 1794 S. Williams Hist. Vermont 177 A club made of hard wood, a stake hardened in the fire, a lance armed with a flint or a bone, a bow and an arrow constituted the whole artillery of an Indian war.


2. Engines for discharging missiles. a. Formerly including catapults, slings, arbalests, bows, etc.

1476 Sir J. Paston in Lett. 776 III. 162 All hys ordynaunce and artylrye. 1489 Caxton Faytes of Armes i. xii. 31 Artyllerye of al maner shot. 1545 R. Ascham Toxoph. (Arb.) 65 Artillarie now a dayes is taken for ii thinges: Gunnes and Bowes. 1601 Holland Pliny I. 199 Brakes, slings and other engins of artillery. 1611 Bible 1 Sam. xx. 40 Ionathan gaue his artillery [Wyclif, aarmis; Coverdale, wapens] vnto his ladde, and said vnto him, Goe, cary them to the citie. 1703 Maundrell Journ. Jerus. (1721) 126 Amongst the Artillery was an old Roman Balista. 1874 Boutell Arms & Arm. xi. 213 Ancient artillery‥could never have led the way to the introduction of modern artillery. They have really nothing in common.


b. Now: Large guns, cannon, ordnance.

c1533 Ld. Berners Huon 315 To take the way towardes Coleyne with al his artylerey and caryage. 1560 Whitehorne Ord. Souldiours (1588) 34 The toucheholes of artillerie to be nailed vp. 1595 Shakes. John ii. i. 403 Turne thou the mouth of thy Artillerie‥against these sawcie walles. 1597 Daniel Civ. Wares vi. xxvi, Artillerie, th' infernall instrument, New brought from hell to scourge mortalitie With hideous roaring, and astonishment. 1598 Florio Serpentina‥a kind of ordinance, bumbard or artillerie. 1703 Maundrell Journ. Jerus. (1732) 19 Port-holes for Artillery, instead of windows. 1803 Lake in Wellesley Disp. (1877) 395 The enemy opposed to us a tremendous fire from a numerous artillery. 1806 A. Duncan Nelson's Fun. A large park of flying artillery. 1815 Wellington in Knight Crown Hist. Eng. lix. 803 Napoleon‥mixed cavalry with his infantry, and supported both with an enormous quantity of artillery.


3. Missiles discharged in war, shot, ammunition.

1563 Golding Cæsar (1565) 249 From whence wyth an engine artillery might have bene shotte among the thyckest of hys ennemyes. 1575 Banister Chyrurg. ii. (1585) 270 Search with a probe, which way the pellet is gone, (this obserue in the drawing out of all artillerie). 1630 T. Westcote Devon. 43 Hurling flints and pebbles and other such like artillery. 1867 Pearson Hist. Eng. I. 23 The war-ships‥poured in their artillery on the British flank.


4. The science and practice of using artillery;a. formerly, Archery. Obs.

1545 R. Ascham Toxoph. (Arb.) 21 That fletcher is an enemy to archers and artillery. 1550–3 Four Supplic. (1871) 100 It is a great decay to artyllary: for shepeherdes be but yll artchers. 1801 Strutt Sports & Past. ii. i. 51 Overseers of the science of artillery, by which was meant long-bows, cross-bows, and hand-guns.


b. Gunnery. (Craig 1847, and mod. Dicts.)


c. (see quot.) Obs.

1727–51 Chambers Cycl., Artillery is also used for what we otherwise called pyrotechnia, or the art of fire-works, with the instruments and apparatus belonging thereto.


5. That branch of an army which manages the cannons in war; one of the ‘arms of the service.’

1786 Beatson Pol. Index ii. 138 The Master General of the Ordnance‥is Colonel in Chief of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. 1849 Macaulay Hist. Eng. I. iii. 305 There was no regiment of artillery, no brigade of sappers and miners. 1866 Standard 2 Nov. 5/6 To transform the heavy cavalry into horse artillery. Mod. In the British Army, the ‘Royal Regiment of Artillery’ consists of two brigades of Horse Artillery, four of Field Artillery, and eleven of Garrison Artillery, each brigade consisting of from 8 to 20 or more batteries.


6. fig. (with reference to 1, 2, 3.)

1599 Warn. Faire Wom. i. 314 Repulse loves false Artillery. a1667 Cowley Lover's Chron. viii, And th' artillery of her eye. 1714 Mandeville Fab. Bees (1733) II. 126 She has all the artillery of our sex to fear. 1764 Reid Inquiry v. vii, And laughs at the artillery of the logician. 1809 Syd. Smith Wks. (1859) I. 163/1 With his whole heavy artillery of argument and quotation. 1870 L'Estrange Miss Mitford I. v. 157 Not proof against the artillery of puns.


7. Thunder and lightning. Only poet.

1596 Shakes. Tam. Shr. i. ii. 205 Haue I not heard great Ordnance in the field? And heauen's Artillerie thunder in the skies? 1695 Woodward Nat. Hist. Earth ii. (1723) 103 The whole Artillery of the Sky. 1718 Pope Iliad xii. 331 As when high Jove his sharp artillery forms.


8. Comb. and attrib. (Chiefly in senses 2b and 5), as artillery-brigade, artillery-company, artillery-founder, artillery-officer, artillery-practice. artillery-boat, a boat carrying artillery, a gun-boat; artillery-company, a company of archers (obs.), or of artillery in sense 5; artillery-driver, one who drives the horses that draw field-guns; †artillery-garden, an archery-ground; artillery-harness for horses that draw field-guns; artillery-park, the place in which the artillery is encamped, or in which during a seige it is collected; artillery-train, a number of pieces of ordnance mounted on carriages and fitted out with all appurtenances for marching; artillery wheel, a heavily-built dished wheel used on gun-carriages; a similar wheel on motor vehicles.

1876 Bancroft Hist. U.S. V. ix. 428 The ‘Carleton,’ accompanied by the *artillery-boats. 1681 Lond. Gaz. mdcxxvii. 7 The President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Court of Assistants, and the rest of the *Artillery-Company of London. 1784–5 Ann. Reg. 64/1 This fraternity is to this day called the artillery-company, which is a French term signifying archery. 1844 Macready Remin. II. 242 A neat little fort with an artillery company commands the passage. 1832 Gen. P. Thompson Exerc. (1842) II. 275 Increasing the corps of *artillery-drivers with men expert in the vocation. 1877 Daily News 25 Oct. 5/5 Incessant *artillery firing is being carried on on both sides. 1728 Morgan Algiers II. iv. 275 The Basha's *Artillery-founder, cast for them a huge iron mace. 1593 Nashe Christes Teares (1613) 39 Heauen‥shall bee made an *Artillery-house of Haile-stones. 1855 W. Sargent Braddock's Exp. 203 Four *artillery-officers were left with Dunbar. 1768 T. Simes Mil. Medley, *Artillery-Park is a place appointed in the rear of both lines of the army for encamping the artillery. 1871 Tyndall Fragm. Sc. i. 17 In *artillery practice the heat generated is usually concentrated upon the front of the bolt. [1902 Rhys Jenkins Motor Cars 210 The wheels [of the Daimler cars] are of wood, artillery pattern, fitted with pneumatic tyres.] 1902 Car 15 Oct. 252/2 The Lanchester car was not strong enough to have *artillery wheels, and so was fitted with wire suspension wheels. 1904 A. B. F. Young Complete Motorist 203 The wheels [of the Baby Peugeot car] are of the artillery type. 1642 Bridge Serm. Norfolk Volunteers 7 The heart of man is the *Artillery-yard, where all the thoughts of courage train continually.