gun for

Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
Related to gun for: gun for hire


1. A weapon consisting of a metal tube from which a projectile is fired at high velocity into a relatively flat trajectory, especially:
a. A portable firearm, such as a rifle or revolver.
b. A cannon with a long barrel and a relatively low angle of fire.
2. A device resembling a firearm or cannon, as in its ability to project something, such as grease or paint, under pressure or at great speed.
3. A discharge of a firearm or cannon as a signal or salute: heard the guns honoring the leader.
4. One who is armed with or skilled in the use of a gun.
5. The throttle of an engine, as of an automobile.
6. guns Slang The biceps muscles of the arms.
v. gunned, gun·ning, guns
1. To shoot (a person): a bank robber who was gunned down by the police.
2. To open the throttle of (an engine) so as to accelerate: gunned the engine and sped off.
To hunt with a gun.
Phrasal Verb:
gun for
1. To plan or take action to harm or destroy (someone).
2. To go after in earnest; set out to obtain: gunning for a promotion.
go great guns
To proceed or perform with great speed, skill, or success.
hold a gun to (someone's) head
To put pressure on someone.
under the gun
Under great pressure or under threat.

[Middle English gonne, cannon, short for Gunilda, woman's name applied to a siege engine, from Old Norse Gunnhildr, woman's name : gunnr, war; see gwhen- in Indo-European roots + hildr, war.]

gun for

vb (intr, preposition)
1. to search for in order to reprimand, punish, or kill
2. to try earnestly for: he was gunning for promotion.
References in classic literature ?
"But it is not a gun for powder," answered the Captain.
Thirty-two percent have a gun for protection, 18 percent for fun (such as shooting ranges or target practice), and 18 percent for a combination of hunting, protection, fun, or another reason not listed in our survey.
If you, as an American, have an inkling that you may want to get a gun for self-defense purposes, the book Your First Gun: Should You Buy One and Join 60 Million Safely Armed American Homes?