Under the gun

Idiom

Under the gun

Definition

Under the gun means to be in a situation in which there is a strong pressure to act quickly or face unpleasant consequences.

Examples

I’m under the gun to finish this project before the end of the week.

We were under the gun to find a new place to live when our landlord sold the building.

Origin

The phrase under the gun has been used since the mid-1900s, but its origin is uncertain. It is likely derived from the phrase ‘under fire’, which has been used since the early 1800s to describe a situation in which one is being attacked or criticized.

FAQs

What does ‘under the gun’ mean?

Under the gun means to be in a situation in which there is a strong pressure to act quickly or face unpleasant consequences.

What is the origin of the phrase ‘under the gun’?

The phrase under the gun has been used since the mid-1900s, but its origin is uncertain. It is likely derived from the phrase ‘under fire’, which has been used since the early 1800s to describe a situation in which one is being attacked or criticized.