from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A breechloading rifle introduced into the French army in 1866.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A kind of breechloading, centre-fire rifle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of breechloading, center-fire rifle, or improved needle gun.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The breech-loading rifle officially introduced into the French army in 1866-68.


French, after Antoine Alphonse Chassepot (1833-1905), French gunsmith.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Surname of the French inventor. (Wiktionary)


  • The carnage that repelled the Chancellor was due in part to the French infantry rifle, the chassepot, which proved to be a more effective instrument of destruction than the Prussian needle-gun.

    FORGE OF EMPIRES 1861-1871

  • As armies adopted infantry weapons like the breech-loading Dreyse needle gun and the French chassepot, whose range and rate of fire greatly exceeded those of previous models, casualties in the field increased in number.

    The War Against War

  • He had been struck by a chassepot conical rifle bullet in the chest; and the ball, after breaking two of his ribs and slightly grazing the lungs, had lodged near the spine, where it yet remained, the wounded man being too prostrate for an operation to be performed for its extraction, although all the while it was intensifying the pain and adding to the feverish symptoms of the patient.

    Fritz and Eric The Brother Crusoes

  • It was at this moment that Hermann his comrade had been struck down by a chassepot ball, winging its murderous mission from some unknown point; and when Fritz had sat down by the side of the body, covering over the face of the dead man, he did not seem to feel any desire to live or even to rise up again, he was so utterly powerless and lacking in energy.

    Fritz and Eric The Brother Crusoes

  • Sadowa and '66 were child's play to this here, with the fire of the chassepot and that infernal mitrailleuse!

    Fritz and Eric The Brother Crusoes

  • Since the chassepot has succeeded in reducing the Kabyles once more to a superficial obedience, the courts have been busy with the sentences of their insubordinate leaders.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 11, No. 25, April, 1873

  • He longed to fire, to use the thin sharp bayonet on his chassepot.

    The King in Yellow

  • Here and there a rifleman stood, his chassepot resting on the iron railing, his face turned towards the woods.

    Lorraine A romance

  • And now Von Steyr had a weapon in his hands -- not a carbine, but a long chassepot-rifle, a relic of the despoiled franc-tireur, dangling from the oak-tree.

    Lorraine A romance

  • Pacification, and acceptin 'the surrender of arms -- any date of manufacture you like between the _chassepot_ of 1870 and the leather-breeched firelock of Oliver Cromwell's time.

    The Dop Doctor


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Wow, bilby, cool word. Is it definitely, specifically a rifle? Not a musket?

    November 22, 2007

  • A bread-loading rifle would come in handy in a few other situations (dinner with my huge family springs to mind).

    November 22, 2007

  • Lunch can't come soon enough. :-)

    November 22, 2007

  • I too read cheesepot. They should amend the dictionary.

    November 22, 2007

  • Feeling peckish are we?

    November 22, 2007

  • I also read cheesepot. Today is a bad day for reading in the world of uselessness.

    November 22, 2007

  • For some reason I read that as "bread-loading rifle" and thought it would be tremendously handy at Roman circuses.

    November 22, 2007

  • A breech-loading rifle.

    November 22, 2007