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 under the gun

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 under the gun (1 of 2)

under the gun


Under pressure to solve a problem or meet a deadline, as in The reporter was under the gun for that article on taxes. This idiom alludes to a gun being pointed at a person to force him or her to act. [Colloquial; c. 1900]

Idioms and Phrases with under the gun (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.