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[guhn-pley] /ˈgʌnˌpleɪ/
the exchange of gunshots, usually with intent to wound or kill.
Origin of gunplay
An Americanism dating back to 1880-85; gun1 + play Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gunplay
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You're up against something now that gunplay doesn't figure in.

    The Grain Ship Morgan Robertson
  • The crowd blinked; but when it opened its eyes the gunplay had not occurred.

    Gunman's Reckoning Max Brand
  • He had watched the Hawk's gunplay with an awe-stricken face; its speed never failed to amaze him.

    The Passing of Ku Sui Anthony Gilmore
  • He explains that gunplay gravitates to men who are the real thing—that it is provoked by the four-flushes, the bad men.

  • He was a keen boy with a hair-trigger balance, and in a gunplay he would be apt to beat the best of them all.

    Gunman's Reckoning Max Brand
  • If she were with him, not even Lord Nick in his madness would force on a gunplay in the presence of a woman, no doubt.

    Gunman's Reckoning Max Brand
  • This was to be better than any gunplay, a gladiatorial combat to delight the hearts of frontiersmen.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
  • It is my wits and gunplay against theirs and against their cowardice and dirty tricks.

    The Orphan Clarence E. Mulford
British Dictionary definitions for gunplay


(mainly US) the use of firearms, as by criminals
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 gunplay

also gun-play, 1891, from gun (n.) + play (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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