gun·​run·​ner ˈgən-ˌrə-nər How to pronounce gunrunner (audio)
: one that traffics in contraband arms and ammunition
gunrunning noun

Examples of gunrunner in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Her father’s work as a gunrunner and pilot led the British authorities to throw him in jail, weeks after Ms. Mehta was born. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2023 By shuttling weapons to warlords in Liberia and a dictator in Zaïre, among others, Bout became the most notorious gunrunner of the past quarter century. Casey Michel, Foreign Affairs, 20 Sep. 2017 There are brash foreign fighters and humble food drivers and furtive gunrunners and ancient babushkas knitting camouflage ghillie suits in community gyms. Peter Rubin, Longreads, 23 Feb. 2023 The 53-year-old Bout, a gunrunner, was the inspiration behind Nicholas Cage’s character in the 2005 film ‘‘Lord of War’’ and was on the radar of Western intelligence agencies for years before a 2008 Drug Enforcement Administration operation led to his capture. Isabelle Khurshudyan,, 23 June 2020 Before World War II, Crabb had a number of exotic jobs, including male model, gunrunner, and spy. Emma Barrett and Paul Martin, Discover Magazine, 4 Dec. 2014 That deal was engineered by an Iranian-American gunrunner with ties to the CIA who was not named in the U.S. court documents. Jon Gambrell, Anchorage Daily News, 4 June 2020 Alan O'Neill, known for playing Irish gunrunner Hugh on FX's Sons of Anarchy, died Wednesday in Los Angeles. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, 7 June 2018 Mitchum appeared as Eddie Coyle—who also goes by Eddie Fingers—a soon-to-be-incarcerated Boston gunrunner compelled to work with the authorities as a squealer. Peter Tonguette, WSJ, 31 July 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gunrunner.' 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

1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gunrunner was in 1899

Dictionary Entries Near gunrunner

Cite this Entry

“Gunrunner.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on gunrunner

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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