gun

Definitions

General English

Cars & Driving

Construction

  • Equipment designed to deliver shotcrete.
  • A pressure cylinder for pneumatic delivery of freshly mixed concrete.
  • A spray gun.
  • A slang expression for a transit, as it is used to shoot grades.

Electronics

  • A device which produces, and usually controls, an electron beam. Used, for instance, in CRTs, klystrons, electron microscopes, lasers, and for machining or drilling. 2. A gun (1) in a CRT. It incorporates a cathode which emits the electrons, a control grid, and accelerating and focusing electrodes.

Military

  • noun any type of firearm
  • noun an artillery piece

Origin & History of “gun”

Gun probably comes, unlikely as it may seem, from the Scandinavian female forename Gunnhildr (originally a compound of gunnr ‘war’ and hildr ‘war’). It is by no means unusual for large fearsome weapons to be named after women (for reasons perhaps best left to psychologists): the huge German artillery weapon of world War I, Big Bertha, and the old British army musket, Brown Bess, are cases in point. And it seems that in the middle Ages Gunnhildr or Gunhild was applied to various large rock-hurling seige weapons, such as the ballista, and later to cannon. The earliest recorded sense of gun (on this theory representing Gunne, a pet form of Gunhild) is ‘cannon’, but it was applied to hand-held firearms as they developed in the 15th century.
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