1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Carbine
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CARBINE (Fr. carabine, Ger. Karabiner), a word which came into use towards the end of the 16th century to denote a form of small fire-arm, shorter than the musket and chiefly used by mounted men. It has retained this significance, through all subsequent modifications of small-arm design, to the present day, and is now as a rule a shortened and otherwise slightly modified form of the ordinary rifle (q.v.).