Definition of under the gun in US English:

under the gun

phrase

North American
informal
  • Under great pressure.

    ‘manufacturers are under the gun to offer alternatives’
    • ‘Here, they seem to be put under the gun, I think, quite severely.’
    • ‘Sources say the Pentagon is under the gun to trim $10 billion from next year's budget, and as much as $60 billion in defense spending over the next six years.’
    • ‘It never fails when you make plans to tackle something, or are under the gun with pressure, something or everything jumps in your way trying to prevent you from making that goal.’
    • ‘And the Army Corps of Engineers is under the gun to explain why it's taking so long to repair the breaches in the levee that's keeping most of the city under water.’
    • ‘The fact is, I will try to get few things blogged tomorrow, but for the next month I am going to be seriously under the gun and just don't have time for much comments box chatter.’
    • ‘How many times are you as the operator under the gun to complete a facility project where your primary concern is having it done before camp opens?’
    • ‘Apologies for anything that strikes you as hideously substandard; I've been under the gun for a few weeks with no rest in sight.’
    • ‘Clearly, since they're under the gun, they're not going to pick a totally unqualified flunky.’
    • ‘Testing has changed the curriculum, because teachers know they are under the gun and administrators know their schools are going to be ranked and that parents look at those scores when choosing schools.’
    • ‘And I learned the rapper, who never is shy about speaking his mind, isn't backing down, even if he is under the gun.’