Idioms

Origin of gun

1
1300–50; Middle English gunne, gonne, apparently short for Anglo-Latin Gunilda, gonnyld, name for engine of war; compare Old Norse Gunna, short for Gunnhildr woman's name

Related forms

gun·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for gun for (1 of 2)

gun for

verb (intr, preposition)

to search for in order to reprimand, punish, or kill
to try earnestly forhe was gunning for promotion

British Dictionary definitions for gun for (2 of 2)

gun

/ (ɡʌn) /

noun


verb guns, gunning or gunned

See also gun for

Word Origin for gun

C14: probably from a female pet name shortened from the Scandinavian name Gunnhildr (from Old Norse gunnr war + hildr war)
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

Idioms and Phrases with gun for (1 of 2)

gun for

1

Pursue relentlessly so as to overcome or destroy. For example, He was sure they were gunning for him and asked for police protection, or The senator felt that the reporters were gunning for him with that article about his brother. [Slang; late 1800s]


2

Go after in earnest, try hard to obtain. For example, He's been gunning for a raise all year. [Slang; mid-1900s]

Idioms and Phrases with gun for (2 of 2)

gun

In addition to the idiom beginning with gun

  • gun for
  • gung ho

also see:

  • at gunpoint
  • big cheese (gun)
  • great guns
  • hired gun
  • hold a gun to someone's head
  • jump the gun
  • smoking gun
  • son of a bitch (gun)
  • stick to one's guns
  • under the gun

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.