ma·​chine-gun | \ mə-ˈshēn-ˌgən How to pronounce machine-gun (audio) \

Definition of machine-gun

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: characterized by rapidity and sharpness : rapid-fire a comic's machine-gun delivery

machine gun


Definition of machine gun (Entry 2 of 2)

: a gun for sustained rapid fire that uses bullets broadly : an automatic weapon

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Other Words from machine-gun


machine-gun verb
machine gunner noun

Examples of machine-gun in a Sentence


They heard the sound of machine-gun fire.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Strykers may be called upon to engage vehicles such as the Russian BMP-3, Chinese ZBD-04, and North Korean BTR-80, and the heavy machine guns and grenade launchers Strykers used to carry are too light to effectively engage Stryker’s peers. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army is Upgrading the Stryker Armored Vehicle With a Bigger Gun," 3 May 2019 The only major action Mr. Trump has taken on gun control since being elected was to ban bump stocks, devices that make semiautomatic rifles fire like machine guns and which were used in the Las Vegas massacre. Zusha Elinson, WSJ, "Trump Heads to NRA Convention as Disagreements Over His Gun Policies Simmer," 25 Apr. 2019 Almost immediately, the team encountered machine gun fire from another fortified enemy position only 12 meters away. James Freeman, WSJ, "Post-Trump Slump?," 24 Aug. 2018 The sounds were deafening — the thunderous detonations of exploding munitions, the loud staccato bursts of machine gun fire, the shriek of whistles as German chlorine and phosgene gas were unleashed, and the screams of the wounded. Special To The Oregonian,, "Memorial Day 2018: Remembering two peace-loving Oregon boys who died in France," 28 May 2018 The machine guns in circulation today are very rarely associated with crimes. Benjy Sarlin, NBC News, "Australia’s mandatory gun buyback inspires U.S. activists, but few lawmakers," 12 Mar. 2018 Fleming was a door gunner in the war, hanging out of a helicopter on a strap with a machine gun in his hands. April Dembosky, Washington Post, "Reverberations From War Complicate Vietnam Veterans’ End-Of-Life Care," 7 Mar. 2018 The vote came after a ridiculous debate that included Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) showing a photo of former president Ronald Reagan shooting a machine gun while riding a velociraptor, among other things. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Roasted Mitch McConnell After a Green New Deal Senate Stunt Vote," 27 Mar. 2019 He was then executed with anti-aircraft machine guns, and his body incinerated with flamethrowers., "Atrocities under Kim Jong Un: Indoctrination, prison gulags, executions," 13 June 2018

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


1906, in the meaning defined above


1867, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for machine-gun

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for machine-gun

The first known use of machine-gun was in 1867

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More Definitions for machine-gun



English Language Learners Definition of machine-gun

 (Entry 1 of 2)

informal : very quick

machine gun


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

: a gun that is able to shoot many bullets very quickly one after the other

machine gun


Kids Definition of machine gun

: a gun that fires bullets continuously and rapidly

More from Merriam-Webster on machine-gun

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with machine-gun

Nglish: Translation of machine-gun for Spanish Speakers

Comments on machine-gun

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


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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