/ gʌn; NAmE / noun , verb
[ C ] a weapon that is used for firing bullets or shells :
to fire a gun at sb
a toy gun
Look out, he's got a gun!
Should police officers carry guns ?
He pointed / aimed the gun at her head.
The police officers drew their guns (= took them out so they were ready to use) .
She pulled a gun on me (= took out a gun and aimed it at me) .
The gun went off by accident.
a gun battle between rival gangs
—see also air gun , handgun , machine gun , shotgun , stun gun , sub-machine gun , tommy gun
[ C ] a tool that uses pressure to send out a substance or an object :
a staple gun
—see also spray gun
the gun [ sing. ] the signal to begin a race, that is made by firing a special gun, called a starting pistol , into the air
[ C ] ( informal , especially NAmE ) a person who is paid to shoot sb :
a hired gun
—see also flashgun , son of a gun
- hold / put a gun to sb's head
- under the gun
- (with) all / both guns blazing
—more at great adjective , jump verb , spike verb , stick verb
■ verb ( -nn- )
[ v ] ( NAmE ) ( of an engine ) to run very quickly :
a line of motorcycles with their engines gunning
[ vn + adv. / prep. ] ( NAmE ) to start driving a vehicle very fast :
He gunned the cab through the red light.
- be gunning for sb
- be gunning for sth
- gun sb down
Middle English gunne , gonne , perhaps from a pet form of the Scandinavian name Gunnhildr , from gunnr + hildr , both meaning war.