jump the gun


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]

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.