from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An electromagnetic gun that uses a large electrical current passing through, and propelling a bridge down a track of two conductive rails.
  • noun A railway gun.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word railgun.


  • Admiral Carr, who calls the railgun a "disruptive technology," said that not only would a railgun-equipped ship have to carry few if any large explosive warheads, but it could use its enemies own warheads against them.

  • For a generation raised on shoot-'em-up video games, the word "railgun" invokes sci-fi images of an impossibly destructive weapon annihilating monsters and aliens.

  • The series ended abruptly in October after an installment that began to delve into whether other local Indian tribes may have been involved in dealings with Wackenhut and mentioned "an experimental electromagnetic weapon called a" railgun "as being one of the projects.

    The Existentialist Cowboy

  • Navy Tests Big Gun (video of a railgun) cboldt (Quote)

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Changes in the Gun Culture over the last 25 years

  • A railgun, OTOH, can accelerate bullets right up to lightspeed -- or, at least, any difficulties in doing so are a mere * engineering* problem, see above re: physicist opinions on non-physics fields.

    mrissa: Minicon report, with digressions

  • I fired, shifted target, fired another burst, and moved to the next target as 20-millimetre rounds from my railgun tore Them apart.

    Archive 2010-07-01

  • The left one also had a plasma cannon and the right a 20-millimetre railgun.

    Archive 2010-07-01

  • Rounds from Balor's 30-millimetre railgun flew over my head as he provided longer bursts.

    Gavin Smith, Veteran (2010)

  • Shunt fires a homing projectile at the car immediately in front; Barge sends out a wave of energy that hits all the cars around you; Shock drops three domes of disruptive power right in front of the leading driver; and Bolt fires three projectiles along your line of sight, like a car-mounted railgun.

    Blur: hands-on with Activision's rocket-powered racer

  • Navy Tests Big Gun (video of a railgun)cboldt(Quote)

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Changes in the Gun Culture over the last 25 years


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

  • A railgun is a purely electrical gun that accelerates a conductive projectile along a pair of metal rails using the same principles as the homopolar motor. Railguns use two sliding or rolling contacts1 that permit a large electric current to pass through the projectile. This current interacts with the strong magnetic fields generated by the rails and this accelerates the projectile.

    Railguns should not be confused with "coilguns" or "railway guns"

    June 8, 2009