a weapon consisting of a metal tube, with mechanical attachments, from which projectiles are shot by the force of an explosive; a piece of ordnance.
any portable firearm, as a rifle, shotgun, or revolver.
a long-barreled cannon having a relatively flat trajectory.
any device for shooting something under pressure:
a paint gun; a staple gun.
Slang. a person whose profession is killing; professional killer:
a gangland gun.
British. a member of a shooting party.
verb (used with object), gunned, gunning.
to shoot with a gun (often followed by down):
The guards gunned down the fleeing convict.
to cause (an engine, vehicle, aircraft, etc.) to increase in speed very quickly by increasing the supply of fuel.
verb (used without object), gunned, gunning.
to hunt with a gun.
to shoot with a gun.
give the gun, Slang. to put into motion or speed up:
We gave the motor the gun and drove off.
jump the gun, Slang.
spike someone’s guns, to frustrate or prevent someone from accomplishing a plan:
Our competitors planned a surprise reduction in their rates, but we discovered it and were able to spike their guns.
stick to one’s guns, to maintain one’s position in the face of opposition; stand firm:
They stuck to their guns and refused to submit.
Also, stand by one’s guns.
under the gun, under pressure, as to meet a deadline or solve a problem:
We’re all under the gun with these new sales quotas.
past participle of 3 .
an informal term for the biceps
the firing of a gun as a salute or signal, as in military ceremonial
a member of or a place in a shooting party or syndicate
any device used to project something under pressure: a grease gun, a spray gun
(US, slang) an armed criminal; gunman
(Austral & NZ, slang)
(slang) go great guns, to act or function with great speed, intensity, etc
jump the gun, beat the gun
spike someone’s guns, See spike1 (sense 15)
(informal) stick to one’s guns, to maintain one’s opinions or intentions in spite of opposition
verb guns, gunning, gunned
when tr, often foll by down. to shoot (someone) with a gun
(transitive) to press hard on the accelerator of (an engine): to gun the engine of a car
(intransitive) to hunt with a gun
mid-14c., gunne “an engine of war that throws rocks, arrows or other missiles,” probably a shortening of woman’s name Gunilda, found in Middle English gonnilde “cannon” and in an Anglo-Latin reference to a specific gun from a 1330 munitions inventory of Windsor Castle (“…una magna balista de cornu quae Domina Gunilda …”), from Old Norse Gunnhildr, woman’s name, from gunnr + hildr, both meaning “war, battle.” First element from PIE *gwhen- “to strike, kill” (see bane); for second, cf. Hilda.
The identification of women with powerful weapons is common historically (cf. Big Bertha, Brown Bess, Mons Meg, etc.); meaning shifted with technology, from cannons to firearms as they developed 15c. Great guns (cannon, etc.) distinguished from small guns (such as muskets) from c.1400. Applied to pistols and revolvers after 1744. Meaning “thief, rascal” is from 1858. Son of a gun is originally nautical. To jump the gun (1912, American English) is from track and field. Guns “a woman’s breasts” (especially if prominent) attested by 2006.
“to shoot with a gun,” 1620s, from gun (n.); the sense of “to accelerate an engine” is from 1930, from earlier phrase to give (something) the gun. Related: Gunned; gunning.
big gun, burp gun, give it the gun, jump the gun, scattergun, six-shooter, smoking gun, son of a bitch, tommy gun, zip gun
(also gon) A professional thief, esp a pickpocket
[1858+; fr Yiddish gonif]
In addition to the idiom beginning with
[guhn-suh l] /ˈgʌn səl/ noun, Slang. 1. a criminal armed with a gun. 2. a catamite. /ˈɡʌnsəl/ noun (US, slang) 1. a catamite 2. a stupid or inexperienced person, esp a youth 3. a criminal who carries a gun n. 1914, American English, from hobo slang, “a catamite;” specifically “a young male kept as a […]
[guhn-ship] /ˈgʌnˌʃɪp/ noun 1. a helicopter or fixed-wing airplane armed with rapid-fire or cannons and used to provide close air support for troops in combat.
[guhn-shot] /ˈgʌnˌʃɒt/ noun 1. the shooting of a : We heard three gunshots. 2. a bullet, projectile, or other fired from a . 3. the range of a : The bear was out of gunshot. adjective 4. made by a gunshot. /ˈɡʌnˌʃɒt/ noun 1. 2. the range of a gun 3. the shooting of a […]
[guhn-shahy] /ˈgʌnˌʃaɪ/ adjective 1. frightened by the sound of a gunshot: a gun-shy bird dog. 2. hesitant, wary, or distrustful, especially because of previous unpleasant experience. adjective 1. afraid of a gun or the sound it makes: a gun-shy dog is useless for shooting adj. 1884, originally of sporting dogs, from gun (n.) + shy […]