Definition of Gatling gun in US English:

Gatling gun

(also Gatling)


  • A rapid-fire, crank-driven gun with a cylindrical cluster of several barrels. The first practical machine gun, it was officially adopted by the US Army in 1866.

    • ‘Whatever happens, we have got the Gatling gun and they have not.’
    • ‘No matter how contrived the circumstances involved, he alone gets to change, while those around him must settle for dying nobly on cue as Gatling guns chew them to bits.’
    • ‘As his eyes adjusted he could make out a Gatling gun mounted on the rooftop with a man standing ready behind it, his own eyes darting back and forth across the main street for signs of activity.’
    • ‘It was armed with a heavy Gatling gun underneath the nose, with twin rocket pods on either wing, as well as 6 mountings for missiles.’
    • ‘You have a Gatling gun on the wharf to-day, and there is one on the turret of the Post Office, they tell us.’
    • ‘As the rush proceeded, the companies of Jackson and Trimble advanced with a Gatling gun and the two howitzers to the brow of the bluff and opened a brisk but ineffective fire on the retreating tribesmen.’
    • ‘The Blazer air defence system combines the high-rate-of-fire Gatling gun with either the Stinger or Mistral infrared-guided surface-to-air missile system.’
    • ‘On offer are two handguns, a shotgun, a machine gun, a Gatling gun, a grenade launcher, a rocket launcher and a plasma rifle.’
    • ‘The stowable, externally powered, three-barrel, 20 mm Gatling gun is capable of firing 750 or 1,500 rounds per minute.’
    • ‘Inside the barrel of the front-mounted Gatling gun, the laser ignited the ammo cell, setting the shell off inside the barrel.’
    • ‘Sean selected the Gatling guns first and pulled the triggers.’
    • ‘For almost four decades the Ordnance Department procured a small number of Gatlings.’
    • ‘Like the Gatling gun and other previous breakthroughs in military weaponry, though on a vastly wider scale, nuclear technology was supposed to have made war unthinkable by its sheer destructive power.’
    • ‘He couldn't help but wonder where they acquired a working Gatling gun in the Outlands.’
    • ‘The charge was successful due to the deployment of the artillery's most rapid firing weapon - the Gatling gun.’
    • ‘Perhaps the best known was Custer's refusal of the Gatling guns and additional forces offered by Terry.’
    • ‘Outside the doors was a pair of remote Gatling guns obviously to keep out trespassers.’
    • ‘After the Union Army returned from Gettysburg to restore order with Gatling guns, 119 were left dead, most of them Irish.’
    • ‘There were rifles and pistols and even a Gatling gun.’
    • ‘Directors have used images of Gatling guns, trains, boomtowns, and even motorized vehicles to signify the death of an era in the Western.’


Named after Richard J. Gatling (1818–1903), its American inventor.


Gatling gun

/ˈɡatliNG ˌɡən/