/hand"gun'/, n.
any firearm that can be held and fired with one hand; a revolver or a pistol.
[1400-50; late ME handgone. See HAND, GUN1]

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      any firearm small enough to be held in one hand when fired. It usually fires a single projectile or bullet, and additional ammunition may be available in a revolving mechanism or magazine. Handguns may be used for target shooting, hunting small game, or personal self-defense. Automatic handguns are illegal in many countries, and private ownership of any handgun is restricted in most of the world. See also automatic pistol; pistol; revolver.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • handgun — (n.) 1680s, from HAND (Cf. hand) (n.) + GUN (Cf. gun) (n.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • handgun — ► NOUN ▪ a gun designed for use by one hand, chiefly either a pistol or a revolver …   English terms dictionary

  • handgun — [hand′gun΄] n. any firearm that is held and fired with one hand, as a pistol …   English World dictionary

  • Handgun — A handgun is a firearm designed to be held in the hand when used. This characteristic differentiates handguns as a general class of firearms from their larger counterparts: long guns such as rifles and shotguns, mounted weapons such as machine… …   Wikipedia

  • handgun — UK [ˈhæn(d)ˌɡʌn] / US noun [countable] Word forms handgun : singular handgun plural handguns a small gun that is used with one hand …   English dictionary

  • handgun — [[t]hæ̱ndgʌn[/t]] handguns also hand gun N COUNT A handgun is a gun that you can hold, carry, and fire with one hand …   English dictionary

  • handgun — /ˈhændgʌn/ (say handgun) noun a firearm that can be held and operated in one hand, as a pistol, revolver, etc. –handgunner, noun …   Australian-English dictionary

  • handgun — noun Date: 15th century a firearm (as a revolver or pistol) designed to be held and fired with one hand …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • handgun — noun A small, hand held gun with a relatively short barrel. Syn: pistol …   Wiktionary

  • handgun — hand|gun [ˈhændgʌn] n a small gun that you hold in one hand when you fire it …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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