Definition of gun noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɡʌn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡʌn//
    Athletics, Weapons
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  1. 1   [countable] a weapon that is used for firing bullets or shells to fire a gun at somebody a toy gun anti-aircraft guns Look out, he's got a gun! Should police officers carry guns? He pointed/aimed the gun at her head. The police officers drew their guns (= took them out so they were ready to use). She pulled a gun on me (= took out a gun and aimed it at me). The gun went off by accident. The attacker held a gun to the hostage’s head. a gun battle between rival gangs see also airgun, handgun, machine gun, shotgun, stun gun, sub-machine gun, tommy gun See related entries: Weapons
  2. 2[countable] a tool that uses pressure to send out a substance or an object a staple gun see also spray gun
  3. 3the gun [singular] the signal to begin a race, that is made by firing a special gun, called a starting pistol, into the air See related entries: Athletics
  4. 4[countable] (informal, especially North American English) a person who is paid to shoot somebody a hired gun
  5. see also flashgun, son of a gun
    Word OriginMiddle English gunne, gonne, perhaps from a pet form of the Scandinavian name Gunnhildr, from gunnr + hildr, both meaning ‘war’.Extra examples Enemy ship approaching! Man the guns! Guns were firing and grenades going off all around. He grinned and cocked the gun with his thumb. He pulled a gun from his pocket. He raised his gun, aimed and fired. I found myself looking down the barrel of a gun. I loaded the gun with my last two bullets. Jorge quickly holstered his gun. Look out! He has a gun! My big brother taught me about gun safety. She brandished the gun menacingly. The gunman then turned the gun on himself and blew his brains out. The gunman turned the gun on himself. The police pointed to the success of a gun amnesty earlier this year. There was a machine gun mounted on the back of the Jeep. There were several guns mounted in the back of the vehicle. There’s no smoking gun that they have found to date. These kids have grown up in a drugs and gun culture. They grudgingly took off their gun belts and holsters. They succeeded in silencing the enemy guns. This new gun shoots a laser beam at the target. Two armed men held a gun to his head and made him empty the safe. We’re very short of guns and ammunition. a .50-calibre/.50-caliber machine gun a gun control advocate a state that has strict gun control laws the powerful gun lobby in the US Anti-aircraft guns opened fire as the bombers flew overhead. He walked into the bank and pointed his gun at the cashier. He was injured in a gun battle between rival gangs. Should commercial airline pilots be permitted to carry guns? The battleship fired its main 16-inch guns against enemy coastal positions.Idioms
    (with) all/both guns blazing
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    (informal) with a lot of energy and determination The champions came out (with) all guns blazing.
    (informal) to be doing something quickly and successfully Work is going great guns now.
    hold/put a gun to somebody’s head
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    to force somebody to do something that they do not want to do, by making threats
    to do something too soon, before the right time
    spike somebody’s guns
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    (British English) to spoil the plans of an opponent
    (informal) to refuse to change your mind about something even when other people are trying to persuade you that you are wrong (North American English, informal) experiencing a lot of pressure I'm really under the gun today.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: gun