1A type of ammunition resembling a needle, used in bombs, shells, and guns.‘doctors say they have pulled flechettes from dead and wounded fighters’
small arrow, flechette, bolt, shaft
- ‘Paul had also heard about the idea of using flechettes as ammunition.’
- ‘I just pulled the rifle's trigger, and a burst of flechettes hit the sentry right in the forehead.’
- ‘When fired, the cartridge activated within 3 meters of the muzzle to spray flechettes in a shotgun-like blast.’
- ‘It fired a guided antitank missile in addition to conventional tank rounds and a special antipersonnel round containing thousands of tiny dartlike flechettes.’
- ‘There are exceptions to what I said, since flechettes and armor piercing rounds were designed with armor in mind.’
- 1.1A shell containing flechettes.
- ‘the flechette exploded and part of it penetrated the southern and western walls’
Late 19th century (in reference to an outdoor game played with darts; used in the First World War to denote a pointed steel projectile resembling a dart, dropped from an aircraft): from French fléchette, diminutive of flèche ‘arrow’.