Definition of tommy gun in US English:

tommy gun


  • A type of submachine gun.

    • ‘This heavily furnished, tightly buttoned film has all the familiar tommy guns, antique automobiles, snap brim hats and heavy suits, but it's very unusual.’
    • ‘Its most famous shark hunter was writer Ernest Hemingway, who boasted about shooting sharks with a tommy gun from the dockside when he fished the area in the 1930s.’
    • ‘Gangsters, pumped up with adrenaline, rake bank interiors and nearby storefronts with tommy guns.’
    • ‘They also looted property totalling 5.4 million yuan, five taxis, two tommy guns and 20 bullets.’
    • ‘I did like the shoot out outside of the pub, the muzzle flashes of the tommy gun in the darkness at the end of the street, as the bodyguards are mowed down in slow-motion in the rain.’
    • ‘This dapper crew, decked out with pristine suits, scrawny moustaches and tommy guns, is brilliantly cast.’
    • ‘Prodded in the ribs by the tommy guns of their guardians, he and his men began to move.’
    • ‘Within pages, we've shifted gear from existential drama to gunplay complete with tommy guns and a truly horrible scene that leaves Amy literally scarred for life.’
    • ‘Capone's usual partner was Jack McGurn, a sleek, handsome virtuoso of the tommy gun, architect of the St. Valentine's Day shootings.’
    • ‘He's going to opium dens where he's part of a gang as a hired assassin who carries a tommy gun in a violin case.’
    • ‘Meanwhile our heroes have a couple of handguns and a tommy gun.’
    • ‘Then, another time a bullet shot the tommy gun right out of my hands - it hit the wooden stock.’
    • ‘As he travels farther along, he'll also manage to acquire pistols, tommy guns, grenades and other weapons.’
    • ‘In one of the film's most famous scenes, Camonte secures a tommy gun from a now dead, would-be assassin and, with the joy and fascination of a child at Christmas, tries out his new toy.’


1920s: contraction of Thompson gun, named by its designer after John T. Thompson (1860–1940), the American army officer who conceived the idea for it.


tommy gun

/ˈtɑmi ˌɡən//ˈtämē ˌɡən/