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[guhn-er] /ˈgʌn ər/
a person who operates a gun or cannon.
Army. an occupational title in the artillery.
Navy. a person skilled in handling ammunition and gunnery equipment.
Marine Corps. a warrant officer who may be given any one of a number of assignments.
  1. Military. a private in the artillery.
  2. Informal. any officer or enlisted person assigned to the artillery.
a person who hunts with a gun.
Origin of gunner
Middle English word dating back to 1300-50; See origin at gun1, -er1
Related forms
gunnership, noun
undergunner, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gunner
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • On this the gunner said he would go aft, and speak to Mr. Osgood on the subject.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • There he is now, bending over to speak to the gunner; you remember Louis, the gunner, don't you?

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • As he stood there deep in thought, he was joined by Hagthorpe, Wolverstone, and Ogle the gunner.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
  • Master Leigh was cursing his gunner for having aimed too high.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • A figure from the pages of Ovid, metamorphosed to a gunner of Santa Anna!

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
British Dictionary definitions for gunner


a serviceman who works with, uses, or specializes in guns
(navy) (formerly) a warrant officer responsible for the training of gun crews, their performance in action, and accounting for ammunition
(in the British Army) an artilleryman, esp a private gnr
a person who hunts with a rifle or shotgun
Derived Forms
gunnership, noun
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 gunner

mid-14c., gonner "one who works a cannon," agent noun from gun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gunner



  1. A flashy performer; grandstander, hot dog: the reputation of a gunner and a hot dog, playground terms for players who showboat (1960s+ Basketball)
  2. A student who aggressively courts attention in class •In earlier use, gunner meant a sexually aggressive student: ''Gunners'' are people who raise their hands in class repeatedly just to impress (Students 1990s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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