under the gun

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(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


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Prepositional phrase[edit]

under the gun

  1. (idiomatic) Under great pressure to perform.
    Synonyms: under the cosh, (Australia, New Zealand) under the pump
    He was under the gun to finish the project quickly.
    • 2013, The National (lyrics and music), “I Need My Girl”, in Trouble Will Find Me:
      I'm under the gun again / I know I was a 45-percenter then / I know I was a lot of things
  2. (poker) Of, pertaining to, or in the situation of first player to act on the first round of betting.
    Synonym: UTG
    James will be under the gun for the first hand of the final table.
  3. (obsolete, military) Too close to be subject to artillery fire.