big gun


: one having preeminent status or power in a field

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 To give the territorials some chance of blunting Russian attacks, Kyiv has armed at least some of its two dozen territorial brigades—one each for every major free city—with a type of big gun that, in almost any other army, would be on display at a museum. David Axe, Forbes, 1 May 2022 More:How will Hogsett's big gun violence prevention plan fight crime? The Indianapolis Star, 11 July 2023 Whatever compels shooter after shooter to unleash maximum violence with a big gun is consuming community after community at a debilitating pace. Arelis R. Hernández, Washington Post, 25 May 2023 On paper, the 76th Cannes Film Festival looks like an embarrassment of riches, assembling no shortage of big guns in terms of major-name filmmakers. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 May 2023 SpaceX’s bazooka over in Texas still has some kinks to work out, but the company still has its big guns in the form the Falcon Heavy rocket set for its sixth ever launch from the Space Coast. Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel, 26 Apr. 2023 Today Campbell, a legend in his own mind, is forgotten, while Shakespeare endures and prevails as the one big gun in the canon of English literature who has no rival. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Apr. 2023 Across hundreds of miles of front lines, Ukrainian forces, with fewer big guns than the Russians and chronic shortages of artillery shells, have to pick their targets more selectively. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, 4 Apr. 2023 But a sweaty woman with a big gun—and a child—was radical. Chris Klimek, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'big gun.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of big gun was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near big gun

Cite this Entry

“Big gun.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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