(to be) under the gun

Idiom Definition

"to be under the gun"

to feel pressure to do something - usually within a time limit;

to feel a strong need to meet a deadline or solve a problem;

to have the possibility that something will end or stop

Idiom Definition - to be under the gun


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to be under the gun

Tomorrow is the deadline for submitting your big term paper to your professor. The term paper is worth one half of your total grade for this semester. It is 9 o'clock at night and you have only about one half of the paper finished. You are ...

under the gun

to finish your term paper tonight.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to be under the gun

It is Monday morning.  The boss has given you until Friday to create three new ideas that will speed up production in the factory where you work.  You are going to be ...

under the gun

all week.

Idiom Scenario 3

Idiom Definition - to be under the gun

It is Monday morning.  You arrive at work to discover that the boss is handing out notices of job terminations.  There had been talk that the company was going to reduce staff.  You are lucky because you did not lose your job.  You go and talk to your boss and ask her if your job is in danger.  Your boss replies that ...

"Your job is under the gun. "

In this case, under the gun means that there is a threat that your job may be terminated.

to be under the gun - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   174   click for frequency by country

to be under the gun - Gerund Form:

Being under the gun can produce feelings of stress and anxiety.

to be under the gun - Examples:

1) The Big Three North American automakers and their Canadian workers had been under the gun, as a midnight deadline to reach a deal neared. 

2)  It makes sense, he adds, because when people with ADHD are under the gun and anxious, that's when they can focus. 

3)  Now it felt like we were under the gun. Do we accept the lower offer and potentially miss out on a higher offer?

4)  Farmers were under the gun this season and were able to squeeze out a modest growing season.

5)  We'd been under the gun for six months, working excessive amounts of overtime to fill the orders.

6)  Those are exactly the two cable reversing methods I use when under the gun.

7)  Do I feel like I am under the gun with these crazy deadlines?

8)  I've been under the gun with deadlines, and I've managed to survive a number of times.

9)  I took in friends' children when they were under the gun.

10)  Council will then be under the gun to make five dozen decisions quickly.

11)  The Dean said he was under the gun to appoint more females and blacks.

12)  Zuckerman will now be totally under the gun to produce profit each quarter, no matter what.

13)  This is the same Bayer that came under the gun in 2010 for its GM rice, which contaminated three fields of genetically pure rice.

14)  When Clinton was under the gun the story was "America needs a return to strong family values".

15)  Providers are under the gun to provide expensive and often futile care to patients.

16)  I was working under the gun on some deadlines.

17)  The people who dreamed that approach up were under the gun to try and meet a largely fictitious race schedule.

18)  By now, we're all aware that the state is under the gun when it comes to its health care exchange.

19)  Facebook is under the gun to prove it can still make money.

20)  I think the debugger thing is debatable: when you're under the gun to finish a project, it's a useful tool to have.