hand·​gun | \ ˈhan(d)-ˌgən How to pronounce handgun (audio) \

Definition of handgun

: a firearm (such as a revolver or pistol) designed to be held and fired with one hand

Examples of handgun in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The boy somehow got ahold of a handgun inside the home, according to police. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "3-year-old boy accidentally shot self in Cleveland, police say," 24 Jan. 2020 In 2019, the FBI conducted background checks for the purchase of 6.8 million handguns and about 4.7 million long guns. Cameron Mcwhirter, WSJ, "At the Largest Gun Show in the U.S., the Focus Is Women, First-Time Buyers," 23 Jan. 2020 The legislation would limit purchases of handguns to once a month, virtually ban military-style weapons, and give local governments the authority to seize guns from people law enforcement deems a threat to the public. Dominick Mastrangelo, Washington Examiner, "Critics blast NBC reporter for tweeting clip of Richmond gun rally crowd chanting, 'We will not comply'," 20 Jan. 2020 The measures limit purchases of handguns to one each month; require that gun buyers submit to background checks; and allow local governments to ban guns in parks and public buildings. New York Times, "Amid Tight Security, Virginia Gun Rally Draws Thousands of Supporters," 20 Jan. 2020 Officer Schwausch initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and found the driver was driving while intoxicated while in possession of a handgun. Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire Police Department weekly report," 30 Dec. 2019 Davis was arrested about 24 hours before Vikings safety Jayron Kearse was arrested around 3:15 a.m. on Oct. 27 in Minneapolis on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of a handgun without a permit. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "Vikings WR Davion Davis remorseful about arrest on suspicion of DWI," 27 Dec. 2019 Perez faced two counts of first-degree assault, a single count of first-degree robbery and a charge of criminal possession of a handgun. David Owens, courant.com, "Fired Hartford firefighter refuses to testify against man accused of shooting him; state drops charges," 4 Dec. 2019 Garrett is charged with first- and second-degree murder and use of a handgun in a violent crime and is being held without bail at the Harford County Detention Center. Erika Butler, baltimoresun.com, "Harford police offering $10,000 rewards for information about suspects in two separate Edgewood shootings," 25 Nov. 2019

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

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First Known Use of handgun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for handgun

Time Traveler

The first known use of handgun was in the 15th century

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Statistics for handgun

Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Handgun.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handgun. Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for handgun


How to pronounce handgun (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of handgun

: a small gun (such as a revolver or a pistol) designed to be held and shot with one hand

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More from Merriam-Webster on handgun

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with handgun

Spanish Central: Translation of handgun

Nglish: Translation of handgun for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of handgun for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about handgun

Comments on handgun

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one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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