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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery)
a. having a gun or guns as specified: heavily gunned.
b. (in combination): three-gunned.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
The blood-soaked media spectacles of the Gabby Giffords shooting, the massacres in Aurora and Charleston, and the thought of 20 small children and six adults gunned down in Newtown very well should produce an emotional shock and urge "to do something." For Democrats, however, these incidents urged them to cynically reload the gun-control issue and offer a number of mostly useless proposals that will do nothing to reduce gun murders.
The casualty figures--since a Moses Lake, Washington, student walked into his math class and gunned down three classmates in 1996--read like a report from a war zone: 39 dead, 104 wounded, in 18 separate incidents.
Writing in the Chicago Tribune, Joan Beck points out that "more children have been shot in the Chicago area in 1993 than all the people of all ages gunned down in England in 1991.