Definition of gunsel in US English:



  • A criminal carrying a gun.

    • ‘Wendy started to deflect the inquiry but Erin, who had heretofore kept his peace playing the gunsel, stepped in front of her to introduce himself.’
    • ‘The character of noir is subtly uncompromising, at the right time mortally confronting not the two-bit gunsel but Mr. Big, the respectable-appearing ring leader behind it all.’
    • ‘Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet were the ideal diabolical team and Elisha Cook Jr. was perfect as the expendable gunsel.’
    • ‘The same can hardly be said of the gunsel in Magnificent Seven… and as for the assassin in ‘Battle Beyond the Stars’, well that's a whole other scary world…’
    • ‘In The Maltese Falcon, the dandified villain is a corpulent homosexual with a lustful penchant for ancient art and gunsels.’


Early 20th century (denoting a tramp's young companion): from Yiddish gendzel ‘little goose’, influenced in sense by gun.