- She held a musket and fired several shots, each hitting their marks.
- Instead, he saw the men walking calmly, saw them carefully scanning the terrain ahead of them, muskets ready to fire.
- I tried to sleep, but the echo of the musket fire woke me from my light slumber and pierced my heart with panic.
Late 16th century: from French mousquet, from Italian moschetto 'crossbow bolt', from mosca 'a fly'.
The name of the old type of long-barrelled gun comes from Italian, and is probably a use of moschetto ‘sparrowhawk’. It was not uncommon for ballistic weapons to take their names from birds of prey, and arrows and crossbows had previously been called sparrowhawks. The soldier armed with a musket was immortalized in The Three Musketeers by the 19th-century French novelist Alexandre Dumas, though film versions of the story are more memorable for their sword fights. In the 17th and 18th centuries the musketeers formed part of the household troops of the French king.
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