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Grape

GRAPE, the fruit of the vine (<?..). The word is adopted from the O. Fr. grape, mod. grappe, bunch or cluster of flowers or fruit, grappes de raisin, bunch of grapes. The French word meant properly a hook; cf. M.H.G. krapfe, Eng. " grapnel," and " cramp." The development of meaning seems to be vine-hook, cluster of grapes cut with a hook, and thence in English a single grape of a cluster. The projectile called " grape " or " grapeshot," formerly used with smooth-bore ordnance, took its name from its general resemblance to a bunch of grapes. It consisted of a number of spherical bullets (heavier than those of the contemporary musket) arranged in layers separated by thin iron plates, a bolt passing through the centre of the plates binding the whole together. On being discharged the projectile delivered the bullets in a shower somewhat after the fashion of case-shot.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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