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machine gun

a small arm operated by a mechanism, able to deliver a rapid and continuous fire of bullets as long as the trigger is pressed.


[muh-sheen-guhn] /məˈʃinˌgʌn/
verb (used with object), machine-gunned, machine-gunning.
to shoot at with a machine gun.
Related forms
machine gunner, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for machine-gun
  • Her sarcasm searched the ranks of the officials with the deadly and unsparing precision of a machine-gun.
  • Then one day, they take a machine-gun and go to school.
  • They talked above the crack of distant rifle and machine-gun fire.
  • As the machine-gun barrels were chair legs and the handlebars were crutches, the effect was more theatrical than threatening.
  • Built to withstand machine-gun and mortar attacks, it is beaten down now by more determined foes: age and weather.
  • And within earshot, the rat-a-tat-tat of the brown sicklebill could be machine-gun fire.
  • If you give them a machine-gun, they will soon find out how to shoot it.
  • Already pounded by mortars, the floundering line is instantly swept by crossing machine-gun fires from both ends of the beach.
  • The selfsame word can at one time be the cornerstone of peace, while at another, machine-gun fire resounds in its every syllable.
  • The pump-action handle lets you fire long-range shots or machine-gun style depending on how the quickly it's pumped.
British Dictionary definitions for machine-gun

machine gun

  1. a rapid-firing automatic gun, usually mounted, from which small-arms ammunition is discharged
  2. (as modifier): machine-gun fire
verb -guns, -gunning, -gunned
(transitive) to shoot or fire at with a machine gun
Derived Forms
machine gunner, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for machine-gun

1870, from machine (n.) + gun (n.). As a verb from 1915. Related: Machine-gunned; machine-gunning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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