1 [guhn]
a weapon consisting of a metal tube, with mechanical attachments, from which projectiles are shot by the force of an explosive; a piece of ordnance.
any portable firearm, as a rifle, shotgun, or revolver.
a long-barreled cannon having a relatively flat trajectory.
any device for shooting something under pressure: a paint gun; a staple gun.
Slang. a person whose profession is killing; professional killer: a gangland gun.
British. a member of a shooting party.
(esp. in baseball) a player’s throwing arm.
guns, the biceps or triceps of the arms: his big, muscular guns.
verb (used with object), gunned, gunning.
to shoot with a gun (often followed by down ): The guards gunned down the fleeing convict.
to cause (an engine, vehicle, aircraft, etc.) to increase in speed very quickly by increasing the supply of fuel.
verb (used without object), gunned, gunning.
to hunt with a gun.
to shoot with a gun.
Verb phrases
gun for,
to seek with intent to harm or kill.
to seek; try earnestly to obtain: He is gunning for a raise.
give the gun, Slang. to put into motion or speed up: We gave the motor the gun and drove off.
jump the gun, Slang.
to begin a race before the starting signal.
to begin prematurely; act too hastily.
spike someone's guns, to frustrate or prevent someone from accomplishing a plan: Our competitors planned a surprise reduction in their rates, but we discovered it and were able to spike their guns.
stick to one's guns, to maintain one's position in the face of opposition; stand firm: They stuck to their guns and refused to submit. Also, stand by one's guns.
under the gun, under pressure, as to meet a deadline or solve a problem: We're all under the gun with these new sales quotas.

1300–50; Middle English gunne, gonne, apparently short for Anglo-Latin Gunilda, gonnyld, name for engine of war; compare Old Norse Gunna, short for Gunnhildr woman's name

gunless, adjective Unabridged


2 [guhn]
past participle of gin3.



2 [jin]
a trap or snare for game.
any of various machines employing simple tackle or windlass mechanisms for hoisting.
a stationary prime mover having a drive shaft rotated by horizontal beams pulled by horses walking in a circle.
verb (used with object), ginned, ginning.
to clear (cotton) of seeds with a gin.
to snare (game).

1150–1200; Middle English gyn, aphetic variant of Old French engin engine

ginner, noun


3 [gin]
verb (used without object), verb (used with object), gan, gun, ginning. Archaic.
to begin.

1150–1200; Middle English ginnen, Old English ginnan, aphetic variant of onginnan, beginnen to begin


4 [jin] Cards.
Also called gin rummy. a variety of rummy for two players, in which a player with 10 or fewer points in unmatched cards can end the game by laying down the hand.
the winning of such a game by laying down a full set of matched cards, earning the winner a bonus of 20 or 25 points.
verb (used without object), ginned, ginning.
to win a game in gin by laying down a hand in which all 10 cards are included in sets.

1955–60; perhaps special use of gin1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To GUN
World English Dictionary
gin1 (dʒɪn)
1.  an alcoholic drink obtained by distillation and rectification of the grain of malted barley, rye, or maize, flavoured with juniper berries
2.  any of various grain spirits flavoured with other fruit or aromatic essences: sloe gin
3.  an alcoholic drink made from any rectified spirit
[C18: shortened from Dutch genever juniper, via Old French from Latin jūniperusjuniper]

gin2 (dʒɪn)
1.  a primitive engine in which a vertical shaft is turned by horses driving a horizontal beam or yoke in a circle
2.  Also called: cotton gin a machine of this type used for separating seeds from raw cotton
3.  a trap for catching small mammals, consisting of a noose of thin strong wire
4.  a hand-operated hoist that consists of a drum winder turned by a crank
vb , gins, ginning, ginned
5.  to free (cotton) of seeds with a gin
6.  to trap or snare (game) with a gin
[C13 gyn, shortened from engine]

gin3 (ɡɪn)
vb , gins, ginning, gan, gun
an archaic word for begin

gin4 (ɡɪn)
(Scot) if
[perhaps related to gif, an earlier form of if]

gin5 (dʒɪn)
offensive, slang (Austral) an Aboriginal woman
[C19: from a native Australian language]

gun (ɡʌn)
1.  a.  a weapon with a metallic tube or barrel from which a missile is discharged, usually by force of an explosion. It may be portable or mounted. In a military context the term applies specifically to a flat-trajectory artillery piece
 b.  (as modifier): a gun barrel
2.  the firing of a gun as a salute or signal, as in military ceremonial
3.  a member of or a place in a shooting party or syndicate
4.  any device used to project something under pressure: a grease gun; a spray gun
5.  slang (US) an armed criminal; gunman
6.  slang (Austral), (NZ)
 a.  an expert
 b.  (as modifier): a gun shearer; a gun batsman
7.  slang go great guns to act or function with great speed, intensity, etc
8.  jump the gun, beat the gun
 a.  (of a runner, etc) to set off before the starting signal is given
 b.  informal to act prematurely
9.  spike someone's guns See spike
10.  informal stick to one's guns to maintain one's opinions or intentions in spite of opposition
vb (when tr, often foll by down) , guns, gunning, gunned
11.  to shoot (someone) with a gun
12.  (tr) to press hard on the accelerator of (an engine): to gun the engine of a car
13.  (intr) to hunt with a gun
[C14: probably from a female pet name shortened from the Scandinavian name Gunnhildr (from Old Norse gunnr war + hildr war)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"type of distilled drinking alcohol," 1714, shortening of geneva, alt. (by influence of the Swiss city) from Du. genever "juniper" (because the alcohol was flavored with its berries), from O.Fr. genevre, from L. juniperus "juniper." Gin rummy first attested 1941.

"machine for separating cotton from seeds," 1796, Amer.Eng., used earlier of various other machineries, from M.E. gin "ingenious device, contrivance" (c.1200), from O.Fr. gin "machine, device, scheme," aphetic form of engin, from L. ingenium (see engine).

mid-14c., gunne "an engine of war that throws rocks, arrows or other missiles," probably a shortening of woman's name Gunilda, found in M.E. gonnilde "cannon" and in an Anglo-L. reference to a specific gun from a 1330 munitions inventory of Windsor Castle ("...una magna balista de cornu quae Domina Gunilda
..."), from O.N. Gunnhildr, woman's name (from gunnr + hildr, both meaning "war, battle"); the identification of women with powerful weapons is common historically (cf. Big Bertha, Brown Bess, etc.); meaning shifted with technology, from cannons to firearms as they developed 15c. Great guns (cannon, etc.) distinguished from small guns (such as muskets) from c.1400. First applied to pistols and revolvers 1744. Meaning "thief, rascal" is from 1858. The verb meaning "to shoot with a gun" is from 1620s; the sense of "to accelerate an engine" is from 1930. Gun-shy is 1884, originally of sporting dogs. Son of a gun is originally nautical. Gun-metal (commonly an alloy of copper and zinc) used attributively of a dull blue-gray color since 1905. Gunboat is from 1793; gunboat diplomacy is from 1927, originally with reference to China.

in slang phrase gin up "enliven, make more exciting," 1887, probably from earlier ginger up in same sense, from ginger in sense of "spice, pizzazz;" specifically in ref. to the treatment described in the 1811 slang dictionary under the entry for feague:
... to put ginger up a horse's fundament, and formerly, as it is said, a live eel, to make him lively and carry his tail well; it is said, a forfeit is incurred by any horse-dealer's servant, who shall shew a horse without first feaguing him. Feague is used, figuratively, for encouraging or spiriting one up.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Computing Dictionary

gun definition

(ITS, from the ":GUN" command) To forcibly terminate a program or job (computer, not career). "Some idiot left a background process running soaking up half the cycles, so I gunned it."
Compare can.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Bible Dictionary

Gin definition

a trap. (1.) Ps. 140:5, 141:9, Amos 3:5, the Hebrew word used, _mokesh_, means a noose or "snare," as it is elsewhere rendered (Ps. 18:5; Prov. 13:14, etc.). (2.) Job 18:9, Isa. 8:14, Heb. pah, a plate or thin layer; and hence a net, a snare, trap, especially of a fowler (Ps. 69: 22, "Let their table before them become a net;" Amos 3:5, "Doth a bird fall into a net [pah] upon the ground where there is no trap-stick [mokesh] for her? doth the net [pah] spring up from the ground and take nothing at all?", Gesenius.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with gun, also see at gunpoint; big cheese (gun); great guns; hired gun; hold a gun to someone's head; jump the gun; smoking gun; son of a bitch (gun); stick to one's guns; under the gun.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences for GUN
One man drove the horses, while another, or a team of two, operated the gun.
Some armies now have a muzzle velocity measuring radar permanently fitted to every gun.
Images for GUN
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature