AskDefine | Define ranged

User Contributed Dictionary


Verb form

  1. past of range


  1. (of a projectile, or projectile system) whose range can be adjusted

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

A ranged weapon or missile weapon is any weapon that launches a projectile or that is a projectile itself. In contrast, a weapon intended to be used in man-to-man combat is called a mêlée weapon.
Early ranged weapons include thrown weapons such as javelins, slings, darts, the bow and arrow, and medieval siege engines like catapults, ballistas and trebuchets. These ranged weapons were extremely effective in combat in comparison to close-combat weapons, as they gave the wielder opportunity to launch multiple projectiles before an enemy armed with mêlée weapons or shorter ranged missile weapon posed a threat to him. Siege engines missile weapons were also used for passing or hitting a natural or men constructed obstacles like fortifications.
After the invention of gunpowder and the development of firearms, ranged weapons became the weapon of choice. In modern warfare, ranged weaponry is used in the form of cruise and ballistic missiles. Maximum effective range of a weapon is the greatest distance fired and able to produce casualties or damage consistently.

List of missile weapons (by category)

Pre-modern missile weapons

Modern missile weapons


Further reading

  • Gray, David (2002) Bows of the World. The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-58574-478-6
  • (1992) The Traditional Bowyers Bible Volume 1. The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-58574-085-3.
  • (1992) The Traditional Bowyers Bible Volume 2. The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-58574-086-1.
  • (1994) The Traditional Bowyers Bible Volume 3. The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-58574-087-X.
  • The ballistics of the sling, Thom Richardson, Royal Armouries Yearbook, Volume 3 1998.
commons Missile
ranged in Czech: Střelná zbraň
ranged in German: Fernwaffe
ranged in Hindi: बंदूक
ranged in Polish: Broń miotająca
ranged in Portuguese: Arma de arremesso
ranged in Slovak: Strelná zbraň

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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