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1. a heavy tube or drum, esp one that can rotate freely on the shaft by which it is supported
2. the metal loop at the top of a bell, from which it is suspended
3. See cannon bone
4. Billiards a shot in which the cue ball is caused to contact one object ball after another



an artillery gun with a flat trajectory, designed primarily to fire at uncovered vertical targets as well as targets located at great distances. Cannon are included in troop artillery, which is called field artillery in foreign armies.

Unlike a howitzer of the same caliber, the cannon has a longer barrel (from 30 to 70 calibers and more), greater gun weight, and greater muzzle velocity of the shell. Cannon appeared in Rus’ and Western Europe in the 14th century. At that time and later, the term “cannon” meant any gun—for example, the tsar-cannon cast by the Russian master A. Chokhov in 1586 was a mortar. With the application of iron casting in the 16th century, the term came to be used for guns with barrel lengths of from 16 to 22 calibers. Cannon later became the most common guns in all armies.

In World War I the Russian Army in 1915 had 76-mm field and mountain cannon and 107-mm, 152-mm, and 76-mm antiaircraft cannon. At the same time the French Army had 65-mm, 75-mm, and 120-mm cannon, and the German Army had 77-mm and 105-mm cannon. In World War II the Soviet Army had 76-mm, 85-mm, 100-mm, and 122-mm self-propelled cannon; 76-mm regimental and division cannon; 107-mm, 122-mm, 152-mm, and 210-mm conventional cannon; 45-mm, 57-mm, and 100-mm antitank cannon; 37-mm, 76-mm, and 85-mm antiaircraft cannon; 20-mm, 23-mm, and 37-mm aircraft cannon; 100-mm, 130-mm, 180-mm, and 305-mm shore cannon; and 76-mm, 100-mm, and 180-mm ship cannon.

The 1944-model 100-mm cannon was considered one of the best used by the Soviet Army. It had a weight of 3,650 kg, a shell weight of approximately 16 kg, a muzzle velocity of about 900 m/sec, a firing range of 21,000 m, and a maximum rate of fire of seven rounds per minute.

The most common cannon in the US Army was the 155-mm cannon. The 127-mm and 152-mm cannon were the guns most used in the British Army, and in the fascist German, French, and Japanese armies the 75-mm, 105-mm, and 150-mm guns were most commonly used.

Present-day armies have cannon of various caliber in the artillery of ground forces and on the combat vehicles of motorized rifle (motorized infantry or infantry) troops, tanks, airplanes, helicopters, ships, and shore units. Many present-day cannon used by ground forces are self-propelled (capable of moving under their own power during battle and on the march) or propelled by auxiliary means but able to move independently in the area of the fire position. Some ship cannon are general-purpose guns capable of firing at sea, shore, or aerial targets.



A complete assembly which consists of a tube and a breech mechanism with a firing mechanism or base cap and which is a component of a gun, howitzer, or mortar; may include muzzle appendages; the term is generally limited to calibers greater than 1 inch (2.5 centimeters).


A rapid firing gun using shells of 20-mm caliber or higher.
References in classic literature ?
Morning is just touching them below," said the deliberate and musing scout, "and the watchers have a mind to wake up the sleepers by the sound of cannon.
There, in three or four fathoms of water, between the reefs of Pacou and Vanou, lay anchors, cannons, pigs of lead and iron, embedded in the limy concretions.
First, you have to buy the powder, you know; it mustn't be wet, and it mustn't be that coarse stuff that they load cannons with--it must be pistol powder.
I cannot tell all that happened on that day, but I will tell of the last charge that we made together; it was across a valley right in front of the enemy's cannon.
The brushed branches made a noise that drowned the sounds of cannon.
The prince leaped to his feet, extending his hand in the direction whence came the sound, there was no mistaking it -- it was the noise of cannon.
Its walls were of immense height and strength, and were defended by hundreds of heavy cannon.
This miniature cannon had been released from the rust, and being mounted on little wheels was now in a state for actual service.
Adventures of William Cannon and John Day With Grizzly Bears.
The houses had all been solid, dressed stone structures; most of them were ploughed through and through by cannon balls--unroofed and sliced down from eaves to foundation--and now a row of them, half a mile long, looks merely like an endless procession of battered chimneys.
Here he dismounted, and stopped beside the farthest of the four unlimbered cannon.
From the small forward decks of the feluccas Perry's crude cannon were belching smoke, flame, thunder, and death.