smoking gun

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Wikipedia.
Related to smoking gun: TMZ

smoking gun

Indisputably incriminating evidence. Likened to a gun that is still smoking after having been fired. A smoking gun was revealed in the form of emails documenting the man's involvement in the money laundering scheme. So far the prosecutor has presented only circumstantial evidence, but she's expected to reveal a smoking gun against the defendant soon.
See also: gun, smoking

the smoking gun

Fig. the indisputable sign of guilt. (Fig. on a murderer being caught just after shooting the victim.) Mr. south was left holding the smoking gun. The chief of staff decided that the the aide should be found with the smoking gun.
See also: gun, smoking

smoking gun

Something that serves as indisputable evidence or proof, especially of a crime. For example, There is no smoking gun in the Oval Office; the President had no role in tampering with the evidence . This expression alludes to the smoke coming from a recently discharged firearm, a normal occurrence until the invention of smokeless powder. [Mid-1900s]
See also: gun, smoking

a smoking gun

COMMON If you talk about a smoking gun, you mean a piece of evidence which proves that a particular person is definitely responsible for a crime. The search for other kinds of evidence failed to produce a smoking gun. First of all, there's no smoking gun. In the course of our investigation we did not find a single piece of evidence.
See also: gun, smoking

a smoking gun (or pistol)

a piece of incontrovertible evidence.
This phrase draws on the assumption, a staple of detective fiction, that the person found with a recently fired gun must be the guilty party. The use of the phrase in the late 20th century was particularly associated with the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s involving the US President Richard Nixon . When one of the Watergate tapes revealed Nixon's wish to limit the FBI's role in the investigation, Barber B. Conable famously commented: ‘I guess we have found the smoking pistol, haven't we?’
1998 New Scientist This genetic smoking gun is evidence of a migration out of Asia that is hard to refute.
See also: gun, smoking

a/the ˌsmoking ˈgun

something that seems to prove that somebody has done something wrong or illegal: This memo could be the smoking gun that investigators have been looking for.
See also: gun, smoking

smoking gun

n. the indisputable sign of guilt. The chief of staff decided that the admiral should be found with the smoking gun.
See also: gun, smoking

smoking gun

Definite evidence of illegal or criminal activity. The term alludes to smoke emitted by a revolver or other kind of gun that has been fired, but it is also used more broadly for other kinds of malfeasance. For example, Time (Sept. 19, 1977) had it, “In fact there may be no ‘smoking gun’—no incontrovertible black-and-white evidence of wrongdoing by Lance.” The New York Times (Oct. 3, 2004) quoted National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, talking on CNN about aluminum tubes in Iraq suspected to be used for nuclear weapons, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”
See also: gun, smoking
References in periodicals archive ?
While the hard copy court applications were successfully sealed, along with the related orders signed by federal judges, and were not available on PACER, the online entries for these cases (known as "criminal miscellaneous" files) included confidential information, The Smoking Gun reported.
The sale turned The Smoking Gun into Bastone's full-time job and opened the doors for him to hire help.
The Smoking Gun brand has firmly established a place in the cultural landscape, with its army of tipsters, old roommates and exes ready to drop a dime.
The Smoking Gun even has an interactive section: the Unabomber Test.
To search for Carlucci's smoking gun is as misguided as to search for the one auto worker or General Motors executive responsible for Detroit's lousy cars.
Harris initially declined, saying she was on her period, according to the Smoking Gun.
You can process the stuff in so many different ways; I don't think that it will be the smoking gun, " William C Patrick III said in an interview with The Associated Press.
If the IRS needs a smoking gun, this is it," said Lynn.
The Smoking Gun offers documents from American administration and law enforcement agencies, released under the Freedom of Information Act, together with court files.
When the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee called Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt to testify in its campaign finance hearings this October, it looked as though Republicans might have at long last found a smoking gun in the Democratic fund-raising controversy.
Because the Clintons, still and all, are banished not; the smoking gun is on display, but the Prez (and press) simply refuses to inhale.
But Mahlman is too much the scientist to agree with Oppenheimer of EDF that the IPCC report really is a smoking gun.
Another smoking gun surfaced in the candidates' debate: the terror-and-torture manual produced by the C.
com/buster/hacking/john-doerr-hacked-by-guccifer-098742) The Smoking Gun , which first reported about the hacking of Doerr's email account.