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jump the gun

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Start doing something too soon, act too hastily. For example, The local weather bureau jumped the gun on predicting a storm; it didn't happen for another two days. This expression alludes to starting a race before the starter's gun has gone off, and supplants the earlier beat the pistol, which dates from about 1900. [Mid-1900s]

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

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