Mus"ket(?), n. [F. mousquet, It. moschetto, formerly, a kind of hawk; cf. OF. mousket, moschet, a kind of hawk falcon, F. mouchet, prop., a little fly (the hawk prob. being named from its size), fr. L. musca a fly. Cf. Mosquito.]
2. A species of firearm formerly carried by the infantry of an army. It was originally fired by means of a match, or matchlock, for which several mechanical appliances (including the flintlock, and finally the percussion lock) were successively substituted. This arm has been completely superseded by the rifle, and is now only of historical interest.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
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Wed 19th December 2018