n. & v.
n. 1 any kind of weapon consisting of a metal tube and often held in the hand with a grip at one end, from which bullets or other missiles are propelled with great force, esp. by a contained explosion. 2 any device imitative of this, e.g. a starting pistol. 3 a device for discharging insecticide, grease, electrons, etc., in the required direction (often in comb.: grease-gun). 4 a member of a shooting-party. 5 US a gunman. 6 the firing of a gun. 7 (in pl.) Naut. sl. a gunnery officer.
v. (gunned, gunning) 1 tr. a (usu. foll. by down) shoot (a person) with a gun. b shoot at with a gun. 2 tr. colloq. accelerate (an engine or vehicle). 3 intr. go shooting. 4 intr. (foll. by for) seek out determinedly to attack or rebuke. go great guns colloq. proceed forcefully or vigorously or successfully. gun-carriage a wheeled support for a gun. gun-cotton an explosive used for blasting, made by steeping cotton in nitric and sulphuric acids. gun crew a team manning a gun. gun dog a dog trained to follow sportsmen using guns. gun-shy (esp. of a sporting dog) alarmed at the report of a gun. gun-site a (usu. fortified) emplacement for a gun. jump the gun colloq. start before a signal is given, or before an agreed time. stick to one's guns colloq. maintain one's position under attack. gunless adj. gunned adj.
[ ME gunne, gonne, perh. f. the Scand. name Gunnhildr ]