Definition of sawn-off in English:


(North American sawed-off)


  • 1attributive (of a gun) having a specially shortened barrel to make handling easier and to give a wider field of fire.

    • ‘What she carried was revealed to be a sawed-off shotgun, a twelve-gauge side-by-side.’
    • ‘The door to the apartment was barricaded from inside and when Gardai moved in, two shots were fired with a sawn-off shotgun at close range, injuring two Gardai.’
    • ‘Police are seeking a man to help with their inquiries about the sawn-off rifle and ammunition.’
    • ‘I frowned, glancing from his face to the sawed-off shotgun gleaming menacingly in his hands.’
    • ‘At that point I felt for sure I was looking down the barrel of a sawn-off shotgun.’
    • ‘His talent for being a big, grumpy guy with a sawed-off shotgun came from experience - lots of it.’
    • ‘The first federal gun legislation, the National Firearms Act of 1934, introduced controls on automatic weapons, sawed-off rifles and shotguns, and silencers, weapons popular with gangsters.’
    • ‘Marks followed her, his sawed-off shotgun in a holster strapped to his back.’
    • ‘A young filling-station operator would proudly display his sawed-off automatic shotgun.’
    • ‘It was a sawn-off, double barreled shotgun with a pistol grip added.’
    • ‘There was no evidence whatsoever that anything coming remotely similar to a .22 calibre sawn-off rifle was used in either one of the robberies.’
    • ‘I reached frantically for the light, wishing instead for a sawed-off shotgun.’
    • ‘He comes in and faces Stan, who has a sawed-off shot gun in his hand.’
    • ‘Twenty guns, including handguns, rifles and sawn-off shotguns, were found at the house.’
    • ‘Walker came face-to-face with the business end of a sawn-off shotgun.’
    • ‘A four-man gang, armed with a sawn-off shotgun and a revolver, overpowered security guards and forced their way into the plant.’
    • ‘They're running things, dealing out justice with sawed-off shotguns - all to the delight of the audience.’
    • ‘Of all the guns I've had over the years, my favorite was a sawed-off shotgun with a pistol grip.’
    • ‘In both movie and book, the murder is committed by a killer armed with what appears to have been a sawed-off shotgun.’
    • ‘A man was stopped in the lane with a sawn-off shotgun in the boot and a woman was arrested trying to sell drugs outside the junior school.’
    miniature, small, little, tiny, minute, toy, pocket, diminutive, baby, pygmy, stunted, undersized, undersize, small-scale, scaled-down, fun-size
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    1. 1.1informal (of an item of clothing) having been cut short.
      ‘sawn-off pale pink jeans’
      • ‘A good hour before the fun's due to start and already the place is filling up with punks, teds, skins, student kids, moshers, grizzled old men in sawn-off T-shirts and a horde of beered-up lads baying for blood.’
    2. 1.2US informal (of a person) short.
      ‘my visitor was a sawed-off little fella’
      tiny, small, little, petite, minute, miniature, mini, minuscule, microscopic, nanoscopic, small-scale, compact, pocket, toy, midget, undersized, short, stubby, elfin, dwarfish, dwarf, pygmy, bantam, homuncular, lilliputian
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  • A sawn-off shotgun.

    ‘he was hauling a sawn-off over his shoulder’
    • ‘Times have changed a little from when you could sort this sort of stuff out with a sawn-off.’
    • ‘Inside the house, I expected a typical wealthy Essex businessman's abode: crossed sawn-offs over a granite mantel, widescreen TVs in every tennis court, more fake marble than you could shake a building society branch at.’
    • ‘The third guard held a sawed-off and had time for one shot, but missed Karl.’
    • ‘There were fifteen automatic weapons, twenty semi-automatics, thirty-six shotguns, two sawn-offs, one hundred magazines of one hundred bullets, five pistols with two hundred clips and forty grenades.’