American English

Definition of gun noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a weapon that is used for firing bullets or shells to fire a gun at someone a toy gun antiaircraft guns Look out, he's got a gun! 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 air gun, handgun, machine gun, shotgun, stun gun, submachine gun, tommy gun
  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 astarting pistol, into the air
  4. 4[countable] (informal) a person who is paid to shoot someone a hired gun see also flashgun, son of a gun
  5. Idioms
    (with) all/both guns blazing (informal)
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    with a lot of energy and determination The champions came out (with) all guns blazing.
    be going great guns (informal)
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    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 someone to do something that they do not want to do, by making threats
    jump the gun
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    to do something too soon, before the right time
    stick to your guns (informal)
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    to refuse to change your mind about something even when other people are trying to persuade you that you are wrong
    under the gun (informal)
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    experiencing a lot of pressure I'm really under the gun today.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: gun