Military Visual Dictionary

Visual dictionary for the military

I’m moving my house, so I’ve been quite busy recently (and happy ­čÖé ). The move to another location, among other things, requires a lot of packing of your belongings. That’s how I found an old box with my handouts from various language courses. One particular set of sheets drew my attention. It was a pile of visual materials I was once given to practice military, specialised vocabulary. Today I would like to share those resources. Since the pictures I have do not contain any labels, captions, etc., I cannot, unfortunately, give the credit to the authors of the pictures. If you recognize your work here, let me know – I’ll publish the proper recognition on the website.


Click on big titles or tumbnails to open an image in a separate window. To help you search for a proper English term, all featured vocabulary is mentioned below each title.


missileswarhead, guidance system, fuel tank, oxidizer tank, turbo pump, combustion chamber, nozzle, fin, vane, missile tracking radar, command transmission, target, missile, command station, target tracking radar, anti-tank missile, air-to-air missile, surface-subsurface missile, air-to-surface missile, surface-to-air missile, surface-to-surface missile


mortarsight, traversing handle, elevating handle, tube, baseplate, pivot, bipod, muzzle, jacket, core, bullet, propellant, case, primer, cup


pistolfront sight, barrel, slide, cartridge, chamber, firing pine, rear sight, hammer, magazine, magazine spring, butt, magazine base, magazine catch, trigger guard, trigger, recoil spring

recoilless rifle

recoilless_rifletelescope sight, firing rod, distance tube, shell, explorer, venturi fastening lever, venturi, firing mechanism, sling, shoulder pad, cocking lever, trigger, spring, front grip, barrel

automatic rifle

riflebutt, charging handle, receiver, rear sight, carrying handle, ejection port, slip ring, handguard, flash hider, barrel nut, barrel, front sight housing, sling swivel, sling, magazine release, magazine, trigger, takedown pin, safety (catch), pistol grip, forward bolt assist mechanism, charging handle catch, bolt carrier, fire control selector, bolt catch, magazine catch

submachine gun

submachine_gunreceiver, rear sight, ejection port, front sight, barrel, barrel jacket, magazine catch, magazine, trigger guard, trigger, pistol grip, safety (catch), butt plate


tankfume extractor, cannon, gun, telescope sight, gunner’s sight, periscope, cupola, hatch, commander’s seat, machine gun, turret, shell, winch, smoke bomb discharger, sprocket wheel, exhaust pipe, air cleaner, wheel, track link, track, loader’s seat, ammunition stowage, co-axial machine gun, driver’s seat, steering lever, rearview mirror, headlight

combat aircraft

aircraftwindscreen, windshield, ejection seat, air-to-air missile, missile launch rail, aileron, stroboscopic light, jet engine, fin wing tip, position light, air brake, exhaust nozzle, stabilizer, air brake hydraulic jack, arrester hook, flap hydraulic jack, wing box, main undercarriage wheel, flap, canopy, retractable boarding ladder, Pitot tube, UHF-IFF aerial, radome, in-flight refuelling probe


bazookacircuit test light, rear sight, tube, blast screen, front sight, left-hand grip, trigger, right-hand grip, shoulder rest, sling

hand grenade

grenadesafety pin, lever, detonator, time fuse, serrated cast-iron casing, base plug, primer, explosive, spring, striker, filling hole, ring

heavy machine gun

heavy_machine_gunforearm, feed cover, receiver, ejection port, traversing and elevating mechanism, cocking handle, tripod


howitzertowing eye, drawbar, drawbar lock, sliding breech, breechblock, breechblock operating lever assembly, right elevating arc, firing shaft, cradle, recuperator cylinder, recoil sleigh, recuperator cylinder front head, barrel, locking ring, main shield bracket, right elevating handwheel, guide rods, equilibrator, firing lanyard, right trail, lifting handle, spade, float

light machine gun

light_machine_gunflash hider, front sight housing, barrel, forearm, carrying handle, rear sight, feed tray, cover, bolt, butt, buffer, operating rod, pistol grip, sear, trigger, sling, gas cylinder, gas piston, bipod

Visual dictionaries on-line

Do you still need additional visual materials? Here are some useful websites you can visit to learn more, not only about military matters: – Good, but very simple visual dictionaries with no military matters covered. – just a great dictionary! Why? Because it contains detailed, colourful pictures with the term definition below. Again, not about the military.

Paperback dictionaries

If you can spend some pennies on paperback books, I can recommend the following one:

The Dictionary of Military Terms (Amazon site:

According to the US Department of Defense, the author of this publication, it is

(…) the comprehensive, standardized dictionary of military and associated terminology compiled and used by the Department of Defense.

You have the guarantee that the terms used throughout the dictionary were officially agreed on, approved and used within USDoD & NATO. It also lists some of commonly used abbreviations and acronyms. It costs only $9.00 for a new copy!

Still, a good option is to refer to AAP-6 – the official NATO-approved glossary of English terms and definitions. It doesn’t contain illustrations, but the original document is written in English and French, because Frech is the other official language of NATO.┬á The French are lucky! – AAP-6 – original NATO publication (2012) – Polish version of AAP-6 (2010)

Słowniki dwujęzyczne

Dla Polaków polecam dwujęzyczne słowniki. Ze słowników o tematyce wojskowej dostępny jest:

“Wielki s┼éownik wojskowy angielsko-polski, polsko-angielski” – z Ksiegarni Lingwistycznej ( – 99z┼é

Moim zdaniem jednak, najlepszy s┼éownik na polskim rynku (jego w┼éa┼Ťnie u┼╝ywam) to “Wielki s┼éownik PWN Oxford.” Dost─Öpny jako ksi─ů┼╝ka, s┼éownik on-line i jako samodzielna aplikacja na CD. Warto zainwestowa─ç w ten program ze wzgl─Ödu na mo┼╝liwo┼Ť─ç wyszukiwania zaawansowanego, szeroki kontekst stosowanych termin├│w, wiele wyra┼╝e┼ä przyimkowych i dodatkowe materia┼éy do nauki angielskiego (tabele, zestawienia). Dost─Öpny jest na stronie i obecnie kosztuje 346,90 z┼é (2 tomy, plus s┼éownik w wersji elektronicznej). Sporo, ale warte swojej ceny.

“Praktyczny S┼éownik Wojskowy Angielsko-Polski” to publikacja wydawana przez Empik ( Ostatnia edycja by┼éa w 2002 roku i od tej pory nie by┼éa wznawiana. Ksi─ů┼╝ka dost─Öpna obecnie┬á jedynie jako egzemplarze u┼╝ywane na Amazon czy eBay. Trafi┼éem te┼╝ tak─ů na Allegro ( – ze wzgl─Ödu na szereg b┼é─Ödnie t┼éumaczonych hase┼é zalecam ostro┼╝no┼Ť─ç w stosowaniu tego s┼éownika