smoking gun


Definition of 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 Buried in this cache was a smoking gun: a 1984 letter from Bishop John D’Arcy to Bernard Law, who would become cardinal the next year., 22 Sep. 2021 City Manager Chris Lagerbloom points to what might be a smoking gun email crafted by Raj Verma, the former Public Works director who quit in July after submitting a fiery resignation letter. Susannah Bryan,, 5 Sep. 2021 While the linkage between overweight and obesity to type 2 diabetes is tight in adults and children, there is no such smoking gun for type 1. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, 27 Aug. 2021 But anyone expecting a smoking gun, even a BB gun, will be disappointed. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 27 Aug. 2021 The smoking gun — the mistaken domain registration teased by my friend — was meant to provide more substantial proof. Reeves Wiedeman, Vulture, 17 Aug. 2021 But there is also no smoking gun for the lab leak theory, according to multiple sources. Pamela Brown, CNN, 16 July 2021 There is no one smoking gun, but rather an accumulation of grievances that turned both Democrats and Republicans more and more against the tech companies. Gilad Edelman, Wired, 19 June 2021 Try Breville’s smoking gun for at-home cocktail infusions. Stephanie Cain, Fortune, 9 June 2021

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

1974, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for smoking gun

Time Traveler

The first known use of smoking gun was in 1974

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Dictionary Entries Near smoking gun

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Statistics for smoking gun

Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Smoking gun.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for smoking gun

smoking gun


English Language Learners Definition of smoking gun

: a piece of evidence that clearly proves who did something or shows how something happened


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