beat the gun


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beat the gun

To take action or finish a task before a deadline. This phrase comes from sporting events in which gunfire was sometimes used to indicate the end of a contest. We have to get these pages to the printer by 8, so work faster, people—we've got to beat the gun! I think they beat the gun with that goal—there was still time left on the clock.
See also: beat, gun

beat the gun

Fig. to manage to do something before the ending signal. (Originally from sports, referring to scoring in the last seconds of a game just before the referee fires a gun to signal the end of the game.) The field goal beat the gun and was in the air just in time. Tom tried to beat the gun, but he was one second too slow.
See also: beat, gun
References in periodicals archive ?
At the Labour conference on Thursday, Home Secretary David Blunkett vowed to beat the gun crime culture.
As Home Secretary David Blunkett vowed today to beat the gun crime culture that claimed Mrs Bates' life, her daughter Xanthe said: "There's someone's son or brother who has done this to our family.
After England's Kylie Robilliard and Jones had caused false starts, the Welsh record holder beat the gun again but to everyone's amazement there was no recall gun and the four-times British champion hurdled superbly to claim gold in 11.
A Scots gunsmith is planning to patent a new type of dangerous weapon in a bid to beat the gun ban.
Of course the margins of error needed to deliberately beat the gun are so fine as to be almost indefinable.
It fact, it will be involved in analytical work, trying to determine which technology will beat the gun, which one holds promise, and which one will become obsolete very soon.
In a tense start to the final youngster Gibril Bangura beat the gun putting the entire field on their last warning only for the Coventry Godiva runner, who has greater pedigree in the 200m, to rise early and rob himself of the opportunity of upsetting his rivals.
Home Secretary David Blunkett today promised that the police would take on and beat the gun crime culture which claimed the life of jeweller Marian Bates.
Adam explained: "I got disqualified in the heats on the first start because they thought I was trying to beat the gun.
The 18-year-old's lack of experience told as he was put off by a slow start having been called back after a much better getaway when Boldon beat the gun, though the former world 200 m champion complained of poor officiating.
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