big gun


Definition of big gun

: one having preeminent status or power in a field

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of big gun in a Sentence

for a high-profile case like this, the law firm uses only its big guns

Recent Examples on the Web

With the armyworm barbarians now at the gates of China’s corn belt, the government is pulling out the big guns. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "Ravenous armyworms are eating their way across China," 20 June 2019 After Navy warships used their big guns to wipe out the German coastal defenses, his artillery group in the 29th Infantry Division would come ashore at Omaha Beach. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, "D-Day still calls to them, 75 years later," 4 June 2019 The Army’s solution is a new program called Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) that will purchase 504 light armored vehicles armed with big guns. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Army Will Pit Two Light Tank Designs Against One Another," 18 Dec. 2018 And the aliens are not stopped by those guns, so the humans have to fire bigger guns. Darren Franich,, "Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson reunite for eerily bland Men in Black: International: EW review," 12 June 2019 From Palawan the big, big gun could also strike all of Hainan Island, where China’s nuclear ballistic missile submarines are based, and even a small portion of the mainland. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army’s 1,000-Mile Supergun Could Be Aimed at China," 30 Jan. 2019 Export sales of automatic firearms would still go through the State Department’s tougher licensing process, as would sales of big guns such as mortars and howitzers. Susan Waltz, Washington Post, "The Trump administration wants to make it easier to sell U.S. guns abroad. Here’s what you need to know.," 4 June 2018 Williams figures to be one of Oregon's big guns as the Ducks head into this weekend's Pac-12 Track & Field Championships, which begin Saturday at Stanford. Ken Goe,, "Lauren Rain Williams breaks out to become the Oregon Ducks' next impact sprinter," 10 May 2018 Those big ships had dominated the seas with their big guns, which measured up to 18 inches in diameter in the case of Japan’s Yamato class, with ranges of up to 20 nautical miles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "As It Begins Its Second Century, Is the Aircraft Carrier Obsolete?," 5 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'big gun.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of big gun

1830, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about big gun

Statistics for big gun

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for big gun

The first known use of big gun was in 1830

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on big gun

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with big gun

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for big gun

Comments on big gun

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!