noun \ˈgən\

: a weapon that shoots bullets or shells

: a tool or device that looks like a gun

Full Definition of GUN

a :  a piece of ordnance usually with high muzzle velocity and comparatively flat trajectory
b :  a portable firearm (as a rifle or handgun)
c :  a device that throws a projectile
a :  a discharge of a gun especially as a salute or signal
b :  a signal marking a beginning or ending
a :  hunter
b :  gunman
:  something suggesting a gun in shape or function
:  throttle
gunned \ˈgənd\ adjective
under the gun
:  under pressure or attack

Examples of GUN

  1. a gun battle between gang members and the police
  2. She claimed that the gun went off accidentally.

Origin of GUN

Middle English gonne, gunne
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Weapons and Explosives Terms

automatic, carbine, cudgel, muzzle, rapier

Rhymes with GUN



: to cause (a car or a car's engine) to go very fast by pressing the accelerator

: to throw (something) very hard


Full Definition of GUN

transitive verb
a :  to fire on
b :  shoot <gunned down by a hit man>
a :  to open up the throttle of so as to increase speed <gun the engine>
b :  fire 3b <gunned the ball to first base>
intransitive verb
:  to hunt with a gun
gun for
:  to aim at or go after with determination or effort

Examples of GUN

  1. She let the car coast down the hill, then gunned it.
  2. The shortstop gunned the ball to first base.

First Known Use of GUN



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Weapon consisting essentially of a metal tube from which a missile or projectile is shot by the force of exploding gunpowder or some other propellant. The term is often limited today to the so-called big guns, cannon larger than a howitzer or mortar. It may also be used to refer to military small arms such as the rifle, machine gun, and pistol, as well as to nonmilitary firearms such as the shotgun. Though the Chinese used gunpowder in warfare from the 9th century, guns were not developed until the Europeans acquired gunpowder in the 13th century. The earliest guns (c. 1327) resembled old-fashioned soda bottles; they apparently were fired by applying a red-hot wire to a touchhole drilled through the top. Separating the barrel and the powder chamber resulted in breechloaders, which continued to be used in naval swivel guns and fortress wallpieces well into the 17th century. Small arms, as distinguished from hand cannon, did not exist until the development of the matchlock in the 15th century. See also flintlock, wheel lock.


Next Word in the Dictionary: guna
Previous Word in the Dictionary: gumwood
All Words Near: gun

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up gun? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).