smoking gun


: something that serves as conclusive evidence or proof (as of a crime or scientific theory)

Examples of smoking gun in a Sentence

This document is the smoking gun that proves that he was lying.
Recent Examples on the Web Suspected killer worked hard to cover tracks, but notes revealed smoking gun. Fox News, 7 June 2024 The ongoing Republican impeachment investigation into President Biden appears to be running out of gas with no smoking gun emerging from six months of hearings and closed-door depositions. Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News, 15 Mar. 2024 There would be no obvious smoking gun to justify expelling Goldman from the United States; that case would require more sophisticated forms of information management. Steven Johnson, New York Times, 17 May 2024 The father-daughter pair’s find, which was just six miles away from de la Salle’s, was the smoking gun. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Apr. 2024 There’s no evidence here that there’s some kind of a smoking gun, that somebody did something wrong. Helen Branswell, STAT, 18 Apr. 2024 There was no single smoking gun; this story defies simple explanations. Samuel Charap, Foreign Affairs, 16 Apr. 2024 The academics with whom the science of crypto tracing originated acknowledge that it should not be applied as evidence in isolation, or mischaracterized as some sort of a smoking gun. Joel Khalili, WIRED, 27 Mar. 2024 The smoking gun Initially, the research team’s efforts led to a study presented in March 2023 that suggested the Noctis Labyrinthus region may be home to a massive glacier covered in salt deposits. Jackie Wattles, CNN, 29 Mar. 2024

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

1974, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of smoking gun was in 1974

Dictionary Entries Near smoking gun

Cite this Entry

“Smoking gun.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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