jump the gun

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jump the gun (third-person singular simple present jumps the gun, present participle jumping the gun, simple past and past participle jumped the gun)

  1. (sports) To begin a race too soon, before the starting gun goes off.
    • 1961 February 24, “Sport: Higher & Farther”, in Time:
      Unperturbed when an overanxious opponent jumped the gun in the women's 60-yd. dash, willowy Wilma Rudolph exploded perfectly from the starting blocks.
  2. (idiomatic) To act or begin too soon or without due caution.
    • 1934 May 14, “Theatre: Pulitzer Pother”, in Time:
      Taking advantage of advance press releases, gabby Walter Winchell jumped the gun a full two weeks by announcing in his radio period and tabloid column that the 1933-34 prizewinner was Men in White by Sidney Kingsley.
    • 2006 May 15, Rob Hughes, “Uneasiness in Italy as Scandal Widens”, in New York Times, retrieved 3 Sept. 2011:
      The former prime minister appears to be jumping the gun, pre-empting the legal process that is just beginning to dig deeper.
  3. (idiomatic, finance, investing) To trade securities based on information that is not yet public; to trade on inside information.

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