• WordNet 3.6
    • n grapeshot a cluster of small projectiles fired together from a cannon to produce a hail of shot
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Grapeshot (Mil) A cluster, usually nine in number, of small iron balls, put together by means of cast-iron circular plates at top and bottom, with two rings, and a central connecting rod, in order to be used as a charge for a cannon. Formerly grapeshot were inclosed in canvas bags.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n grapeshot A projectile discharged from a cannon, having much of the destructive spread of case-shot with somewhat of the range and penetrative force of solid shot. A round of grape-shot consists usually of nine cast-iron balls, in three tiers, arranged between parallel iron disks connected by a central iron pin. In quilted grape-shot the balls are placed on a circular iron stand round an upright iron spindle, and are secured by a stout canvas covering fastened to the bottom plate and quilted over the balls by marlins, the upper edge of the canvas being tied round the spindle.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Grapeshot shot or small iron balls clustered or piled on circular plates round an iron pin, which scatter on being fired
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. grappe, a cluster of grapes; from Old High Ger. chrapho, a hook. It properly meant a hook, then clustered fruit, hooked on, attached to, a stem (Brachet).


In literature:

The Zaporozhtzi attacked the wall fiercely, but were met with a shower of grapeshot.
"Taras Bulba and Other Tales" by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol
Good is grapeshot, Messeigneurs, on one condition: that the shooter also were made of metal!
"The French Revolution" by Thomas Carlyle
Lieutenant Aitcheson of the Artillery plied the foe with a withering fire of grapeshot.
"Six Months at the Cape" by R.M. Ballantyne
Neither balls nor grapeshot: everything has its end!
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No. 6, December 1864" by Various
Then the Green House struck the door like a salvo of grapeshot.
"The Varmint" by Owen Johnson
The ammunition wagons carrying the powder and the balls and the grapeshot are drawn up between them.
"The Keepers of the Trail" by Joseph A. Altsheler
The tricolour flag is riddled with grapeshot and General Michel has fallen.
"The Bronze Eagle" by Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy
That kind of grapeshot which is secured in tiers by parallel iron discs.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
Then he ordered out the artillery and had them fire grapeshot into the square.
"A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year" by Edwin Emerson
And every French child knows how he led the charge through the grapeshot, on foot, with his hat at the end of his sword.
"Lectures on the French Revolution" by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

In news:

The hawks were right to say that a whiff of precision-guided grapeshot would lead to the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime.