a person who has an important or powerful position in a group or organization:
She's a big gun in city politics.
He's a big shot in advertising.
beg the question
If a statement or situation begs the question, it causes you to ask a particular question:
Spending the summer travelling round India is a great idea, but it does rather beg the question of how we can afford it.
To discuss the company's future begs the question whether it has a future.
(from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
One that is powerful or influential: The big guns for the prosecution were its expert witnesses.
1. Very energetically or successfully. This colloquial expression usually occurs in the phrase go great guns, as in They're going great guns with those drawings. The expression comes from British naval slang of the late 1700s, when blowing great guns meant a violent gale. Harry Truman used the term in Dear Bess (1945): "We have been going great guns in the last day or two."
2. great gun. Also big gun. An important person, as in All the great guns came to the reception. This usage is heard less often today. [Slang; early 1800s] Also see big cheese.
3. Great guns! An expletive expressing surprise or astonishment, as in Great guns! You're not leaving now? [Late 1800s]
Society | 19.02.2008
German Brings Out a Big Gun to Combat a Cigarette
German anti-smoking legislation has put nicotine addicts and health fanatics at odds in public -- and now private --spaces. One man was so enraged at his girlfriend lighting up that he hauled out a fire extinguisher.
Many young boys dream of growing up to be a fireman.
Maybe those fantasies were running through the mind of a 42-year-old non-smoker from the western German city of Bielefeld, when he doused his girlfriend in flame-retardant foam after she dared smoke a cigarette in their apartment.
The 6-kilogram extinguisher was completely empty after the operation -- and almost everything in the apartment damaged as a result.
"My colleagues said it looked like a bomb had gone off in there," a spokesman for the Bielefeld police told Reuters news service.
The man was taken into police custody after proving unable to calm down. Authorities said he was now considering splitting up from his girlfriend if she did not kick the habit once and for all.
And that begs the question: If this was all about ending a relationship, wouldn't it have been easier for the man to take the modern route and just send his puffing partner a text message?
Definitioncombat Show phonetics
1 [C or U] a fight, especially during a war:
There was fierce combat between the two sides.
No one knew how many troops had died in combat.
The soldiers were engaged in hand-to-hand combat.
armed combat (= fighting with weapons)
unarmed combat (= fighting without weapons)
2 [C] a fight between two people or things:
The film explores the combat between good and evil.
combat Show phonetics
verb [T] -tt- or -t-
to try to stop something unpleasant or harmful from happening or increasing:
to combat crime/terrorism/inflation/disease
The government is spending millions of dollars in its attempt to combat drug abuse.
I have to combat this constant desire to eat chocolate.
combatant Show phonetics
noun [C] FORMAL
a person who fights in a war
combative Show phonetics
eager to fight or argue:
The prime minister was in a combative mood, twice accusing the opposition of gross incompetence.