from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A gun which is discharged by the stumbling of a trespasser upon it, or against a wire connected with the trigger; also, a gun similarly set for large animals, as bears or wolves.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • JasonF: I think torts professors love liability to trespassers cases, and are tired of the “spring-gun” example, which, perversely, I still remember.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Klein v. Amtrak Opinions, Which Were Removed from Lexis and Westlaw Pursuant to a Settlement: 2009

  • The barrel of the spring-gun would be aimed past the front of my diaphragm by the time he fired.

    The 9th Directive Hall, Adam 1966

  • Black Lincoln, Bangkok registered, number and everything, spring-gun dart lodged in the rear door, inside - if they ever get the chance to look for it. '

    The 9th Directive Hall, Adam 1966

  • The spring-gun can kill through light clothing at any range below two feet providing it can be aimed to strike a vital organ without hitting bone.

    The 9th Directive Hall, Adam 1966

  • The man beside me carried a spring-gun against the necessity of having to threaten or shoot while he was in the open and cut off from his base, and it was simply his good luck that this necessity had arisen in the confines of a closed car.

    The 9th Directive Hall, Adam 1966

  • So far as the aeroplane is concerned it is somewhat at a disadvantage as compared with the airship, as the latter is able to hover over a position, and, if a spring-gun is employed to impart an initial velocity to the missile, there is a greater probability of the projectile striking the target provided it has been well-aimed.

    Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War Frederick Arthur Ambrose Talbot

  • It'd just about serve the sneaks right if we set a spring-gun trap that'd give them a dose of fine bird-shot; but then I don't suppose you'd want to go quite as far as that.

    The Chums of Scranton High Hugh Morgan's Uphill Fight Donald Ferguson

  • “Being I has my story to tell which will fix the guilt of this spring-gun on him as set it, I reckon the hand of the law did ought to be light on my ancient shoulders.”

    Overture to Death Marsh, Ngaio, 1895-1982 1939

  • They reached the spot where the spring-gun had been set, and they found that beyond a doubt the tiger had returned to his kill.

    In Court and Kampong Being Tales and Sketches of Native Life in the Malay Peninsula Hugh Charles Clifford 1903

  • Pĕnghûlu Mat Saleh, was killed by a tiger, and its owner, saying no word to any man upon the subject, constructed a cunningly arranged spring-gun over the carcase.

    In Court and Kampong Being Tales and Sketches of Native Life in the Malay Peninsula Hugh Charles Clifford 1903


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