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Borrowed from Dutch houwitser, from German Haubitze, from Czech houfnice, which was derived from houf (flock, crowd) +‎ -nice. The Czech noun houf comes from Middle High German hufe (heap).[1]



howitzer (plural howitzers)

  1. A cannon that combines certain characteristics of guns and mortars. The howitzer delivers projectiles with medium velocities, either by low or high trajectories.
  2. Normally a cannon with a tube length of 20 to 30 calibers; however, the tube length can exceed 30 calibers and still be considered a howitzer when the high angle fire zoning solution permits range overlap between charges
  3. (sports, rugby, ice hockey) A powerfully hit shot.


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  1. ^ howitzer” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018, retrieved 26 April 2017.