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90s Slang You Should Know

Gatling gun

[gat-ling] /ˈgæt lɪŋ/
an early type of machine gun consisting of a revolving cluster of barrels around a central axis, each barrel being automatically loaded and fired every revolution of the cluster.
Origin of Gatling gun
1860-65, Americanism; named after R. J. Gatling (1818-1903), U.S. inventor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Gatling gun
Historical Examples
  • As he yanked the lever savagely, the popping from up the road sounding like the rapid discharge of a Gatling gun.

  • Or, to make sure, you might have a guard of honor and a Gatling gun.

    In Her Own Right John Reed Scott
  • They had not even brought tin soldiers this time nor dignified the occasion with a Gatling gun.

    When 'Bear Cat' Went Dry Charles Neville Buck
  • You couldnt get me away with a Gatling gun, said Tom, grimly.

  • They set up a Gatling gun at the end of the street and the strike subsided.

    Marching Men Sherwood Anderson
  • It was recommended that this vessel be equipped with small arms, a Gatling gun, and ammunition.

    Alaska Ella Higginson
  • His fast balls went over the plate like bullets from a Gatling gun.

  • Down went each fair bather as if hit with shot from a Gatling gun.

    The Open Air Richard Jefferies
  • When I came back she had a Gatling gun of eager questions ranged on him and—happy withal—he was squirming no little.

  • Swatty said maybe his uncle would give him a Gatling gun for his birthday if he wrote to Derlingport and asked him.

    Swatty Ellis Parker Butler
British Dictionary definitions for Gatling gun

Gatling gun

a hand-cranked automatic machine gun equipped with a rotating cluster of barrels that are fired in succession using brass cartridges
Word Origin
C19: named after R. J. Gatling (1818–1903), its US inventor
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 Gatling gun

1870, named for designer Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling (1818-1903); patented by 1862 but not used in American Civil War until the Petersburg campaign of June 1864 as an independent initiative by U.S. Gen. Ben Butler.

For the first time in this war, the Gatling gun was used by Butler in repelling one of Beauregard's midnight attacks. Dispatches state that it was very destructive, and rebel prisoners were very curious to know whether it was loaded all night and fired all day. ... Gatling, like Mann, has found it very difficult to get fair trials of his gun, and to have it introduced by the War Department, for the Government leaves all such things to the Ordnance Office, and that office is under the control of old fogies, who work by red tape, and who are slow to perceive the value of ordnance improvements, and still slower to introduce them into practice. ["Scientific American," June 18, 1864]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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