a short cannon, larger than a mortar, firing shells in a high trajectory
Origin of howitzerDutch houvietser ; from 15th-c. German haufenitz ; from Czech houfnice, howitzer, origin, originally , a sling
A relatively short cannon that delivers shells at a medium muzzle velocity, usually by a high trajectory.
Origin of howitzerDutch houwitser, from German Haubitze, alteration of obsolete haufnitz, catapult, from Old Czech haufnice, probably from haufný, catapult that slung many stones at once : hauf, group, heap (probably from Middle High German h&umacron;fe, from Old High German h&umacron;fo) + -ný, n. suff.
- A cannon that combines certain characteristics of guns and mortars. The howitzer delivers projectiles with medium velocities, either by low or high trajectories. JP 1-02.
- Normally a cannon with a tube length of 20 to 30 calibers; however, the tube length can exceed 30 calibers and still be considered a howitzer when the high angle fire zoning solution permits range overlap between charges. JP 1-02. See also gun; mortar.
- (sports, rugby, ice hockey) A powerfully hit shot.
From Dutch houwitser (see for further etymology).