Origin of gunning
- a weapon consisting of a metal tube, with mechanical attachments, from which projectiles are shot by the force of an explosive; a piece of ordnance.
- any portable firearm, as a rifle, shotgun, or revolver.
- a long-barreled cannon having a relatively flat trajectory.
- any device for shooting something under pressure: a paint gun; a staple gun.
- Slang. a person whose profession is killing; professional killer: a gangland gun.
- British. a member of a shooting party.
- electron gun.
- (esp. in baseball) a player’s throwing arm.
- guns,the biceps or triceps of the arms: his big, muscular guns.
- to shoot with a gun (often followed by down): The guards gunned down the fleeing convict.
- to cause (an engine, vehicle, aircraft, etc.) to increase in speed very quickly by increasing the supply of fuel.
- to hunt with a gun.
- to shoot with a gun.
- gun for,
- to seek with intent to harm or kill.
- to seek; try earnestly to obtain: He is gunning for a raise.
- give the gun, Slang. to put into motion or speed up: We gave the motor the gun and drove off.
- jump the gun, Slang.
- to begin a race before the starting signal.
- to begin prematurely; act too hastily.
- spike someone's guns, to frustrate or prevent someone from accomplishing a plan: Our competitors planned a surprise reduction in their rates, but we discovered it and were able to spike their guns.
- stick to one's guns, to maintain one's position in the face of opposition; stand firm: They stuck to their guns and refused to submit.Also stand by one's guns.
- under the gun, under pressure, as to meet a deadline or solve a problem: We're all under the gun with these new sales quotas.
Origin of gun1
- past participle of gin3.
Examples from the Web for gunning
Fort Bliss was shot in just 21 days, with the crew, Monaghan says, “running and gunning, literally.”Michelle Monaghan on ‘Fort Bliss,’ the Lack of Roles for Women, and ‘True Detective’ Hysteria
September 23, 2014
This growing clickbait awareness may ultimately cost news agencies that are gunning for short-term gains.Saving Us From Ourselves: The Anti-Clickbait Movement
July 14, 2014
Reed McCandless is gunning for a Republican congressional nomination against incumbent Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho.Fringe Factor: Gay People Need to Be More Tolerant
May 18, 2014
But will it keep women of talent and substance and mettle and ambition from gunning it forward?What Happens to Women When Female Leaders Like Jill Abramson Get Fired?
May 16, 2014
No, his group would also be gunning for anyone and everyone to whom she offered political aid.StopHillary Super PAC Goes After McAuliffe in Virginia Race
September 18, 2013
I was thinking of corraling you for a gunning trip one of these days.The Rise of Roscoe Paine
Joseph C. Lincoln
There was much more to it than gunning down the weird fauna that one found.Project Mastodon
Clifford Donald Simak
The Stonewall gang—what was left of it—and all its friends would be gunning for him now.Police Your Planet
Lester del Rey
It can't be possible that the state is gunning an affair like this!Blow The Man Down
The money he made by gunning or fishing he spent for tops and kites.Tom, The Bootblack
- the act or an instance of shooting with guns
- the art, practice, or act of hunting game with guns
- a weapon with a metallic tube or barrel from which a missile is discharged, usually by force of an explosion. It may be portable or mounted. In a military context the term applies specifically to a flat-trajectory artillery piece
- (as modifier)a gun barrel
- the firing of a gun as a salute or signal, as in military ceremonial
- a member of or a place in a shooting party or syndicate
- any device used to project something under pressurea grease gun; a spray gun
- US slang an armed criminal; gunman
- Australian and NZ slang
- an expert
- (as modifier)a gun shearer; a gun batsman
- go great guns slang to act or function with great speed, intensity, etc
- jump the gun or beat the gun
- (of a runner, etc) to set off before the starting signal is given
- informalto act prematurely
- spike someone's guns See spike 1 (def. 15)
- stick to one's guns informal to maintain one's opinions or intentions in spite of opposition
- (when tr, often foll by down) to shoot (someone) with a gun
- (tr) to press hard on the accelerator of (an engine)to gun the engine of a car
- (intr) to hunt with a gun
Word Origin and History for gunning
mid-14c., gunne "an engine of war that throws rocks, arrows or other missiles," probably a shortening of woman's name Gunilda, found in Middle English gonnilde "cannon" and in an Anglo-Latin reference to a specific gun from a 1330 munitions inventory of Windsor Castle ("...una magna balista de cornu quae Domina Gunilda ..."), from Old Norse Gunnhildr, woman's name, from gunnr + hildr, both meaning "war, battle." First element from PIE *gwhen- "to strike, kill" (see bane); for second, cf. Hilda.
The identification of women with powerful weapons is common historically (cf. Big Bertha, Brown Bess, Mons Meg, etc.); meaning shifted with technology, from cannons to firearms as they developed 15c. Great guns (cannon, etc.) distinguished from small guns (such as muskets) from c.1400. Applied to pistols and revolvers after 1744. Meaning "thief, rascal" is from 1858. Son of a gun is originally nautical. To jump the gun (1912, American English) is from track and field. Guns "a woman's breasts" (especially if prominent) attested by 2006.
"to shoot with a gun," 1620s, from gun (n.); the sense of "to accelerate an engine" is from 1930, from earlier phrase to give (something) the gun. Related: Gunned; gunning.
Idioms and Phrases with gunning
In addition to the idiom beginning with gun
- gun for
- gung ho
- 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