gun

noun
\ ˈgən How to pronounce gun (audio) \

Definition of gun

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a piece of ordnance usually with high muzzle velocity and comparatively flat trajectory
b : a portable firearm (such as a rifle or handgun)
c : a device that throws a projectile
2a : a discharge of a gun especially as a salute or signal
b : a signal marking a beginning or ending
3a : hunter
b : gunman
4 : something suggesting a gun in shape or function
5 : throttle
6 slang : a person's arm specifically : an arm that has well-defined muscles usually plural Conor was spotted rowing away from The Loeb Boathouse in Central Park Saturday with his girlfriend, Dee Devlin, and their cute son, Conor Jr. The famous fighter showed off his guns while handling the oars for his crew. TMZ.com The Heisman Trophy-winning and former NFL quarterback worked the stage the way he probably jabs through the weight room—whilst checking out his guns in the mirror … — Tory Barron
under the gun
: under pressure or attack

gun

verb
gunned; gunning

Definition of gun (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to fire on
b : shoot gunned down by a hit man
2a : to open up the throttle of so as to increase speed gun the engine
b : fire sense 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from gun

Noun

gunned \ ˈgənd How to pronounce gun (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for gun

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

A ballista (a large missile-thrower in the form of a crossbow) that defended Windsor Castle in the 14th century was named in Latin Domina Gunilda, or “Lady Gunilda.” Gunilda is an Old Norse name and is a compound of gunnr and hildr, both words meaning “battle.” The English may have learned the name from early Norsemen who knew its etymological significance, or its use by the English may have been a coincidence. However, the use of this name for the Windsor ballista was not an isolated incident. Gonnylyde was the name of a cannon in a 14th century song. Our word gun, which also traces back to the 14th century, is probably a shortening of Gunilda.

Examples of gun in a Sentence

Noun a gun battle between gang members and the police She claimed that the gun went off accidentally. Verb She let the car coast down the hill, then gunned it. The shortstop gunned the ball to first base.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This year has already seen more than 8,400 deaths from gun violence in the US, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Jamiel Lynch, CNN, 8 June 2021 The spate of shootings during the weekend underscored the continuing spike in violent crime in Cleveland, where gun violence so far is ahead of 2020, one of the deadliest in decades. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 8 June 2021 The games offer fun, family and a support system for young players whose lives have been affected by gun violence, addiction and hunger. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 8 June 2021 Tavares’ death came as the cities of Pawtucket and Providence were gripped in an escalating round of gun violence, and Providence police said some incidents between the cities appeared to be connected. BostonGlobe.com, 7 June 2021 Bone, 17, is the second basketball player at the Huntsville school this year to lose his life to gun violence. Mike Perrin | Preps@al.com, al, 7 June 2021 Homicides in the District — most from gun violence — are rising for the fourth consecutive year. Washington Post, 7 June 2021 Pfleger, who is white, thanked congregants for supporting him and vowed to resume his activism, especially against gun violence, with even more gusto. Fox News, 7 June 2021 But this life-affirming ritual, like so many other daily experiences — going to school or church or work — continues to be threatened, because of gun violence in this country. Billboard Staff, Billboard, 7 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The kind of itch that drives Whitney to gun it for Indy doesn’t just go away because of a cutout in the stands. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, 10 May 2021 Within two decades, another madman would gun down President William McKinley. Jon Grinspan, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Apr. 2021 The same was true in 1988, when Myanmar erupted in pro-democracy dissent, only for the military to gun down thousands of people nationwide. BostonGlobe.com, 4 Apr. 2021 As security forces gun down peaceful protesters on city streets, the violence that is commonplace in the countryside serves as a grisly reminder of the military’s long legacy of atrocities. New York Times, 9 Mar. 2021 Young men gun their cars to speeds over 100 mph, often on long straight corridors such as Military Drive, Bandera and Culebra roads and sometimes on freeways. Bruce Selcraig, ExpressNews.com, 27 Nov. 2020 Other drivers speed up and gun their motors in apparent opposition to the views expressed. Donna Engle, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 7 Nov. 2020 Dubon, playing center field, also made a costly throw when trying to gun down Nick Ahmed at third base after fielding Josh Rojas’ single, but Ahmed was safe and Rojas scooted to second. John Shea, SFChronicle.com, 4 Sep. 2020 San Francisco police arrested two people in connection with with last week’s fatal shooting of a 19-year-old man who was gunned down in the city’s Portola neighborhood, officials said Wednesday. Megan Cassidy, SFChronicle.com, 13 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word '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 gun

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1622, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for gun

Noun

Middle English gonne, gunne

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gun

Time Traveler for gun

Time Traveler

The first known use of gun was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for gun

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gun.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gun. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gun

gun

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gun

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a weapon that shoots bullets or shells
: a tool or device that looks like a gun

gun

verb

English Language Learners Definition of gun (Entry 2 of 2)

informal
US : to cause (a car or a car's engine) to go very fast by pressing the accelerator
US : to throw (something) very hard

gun

noun
\ ˈgən How to pronounce gun (audio) \

Kids Definition of gun

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a weapon that fires bullets or shells
2 : cannon
3 : something like a gun in shape or function a glue gun
4 : a discharge of a gun The runners waited for the gun.

gun

verb
gunned; gunning

Kids Definition of gun (Entry 2 of 2)

: to open the throttle of quickly so as to increase speed gun the engine

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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