Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Origin: Perhaps from Gunnilda, a woman's name, from Old Norse Gunnhildr

gun

1 noun
     
gun
Related topics: Daily Life, Weapons, Technology
gun1 S2 W2 [countable]
1PMW a metal weapon which shoots bullets or shells
have/hold/carry a gun
I could see he was carrying a gun.
I've never fired a gun in my life.
Jake was pointing a gun at the door.
Two policemen were killed in a gun battle.
2

put/hold a gun to somebody's head

a) to put a gun very close to someone's head to shoot them or to force them to do something:
He put a gun to her head and told the cashier to hand over the money.
b) to force someone to do something they do not want to do:
You chose to live here. Nobody put a gun to your head.
3DT a tool that forces out small objects or a liquid by pressure:
a paint gun
a nail gun
flashgun, spray gun
4 also starting pistol a gun which is fired into the air at the start of a race
5 American English informal

big/top gun

someone who is very important within an organization:
Jed wanted to impress a Harvard professor and some other big guns.
6

hired gun

American English informal someone who is paid to shoot someone else
7

with all guns blazing

if you do something with all guns blazing, you do it with a lot of energy, determination, and noise
son of a gun

; ➔ stick to your guns

at stick1

; ➔ jump the gun

at jump1 (11)

; ➔ be going great guns

at great1 (11)

; ➔ spike somebody's guns

at spike2 (6)

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary