jump the gun

jump the gun

  1. (sports) To begin a race too soon, before the starting gun goes off.
    • 1961 Feb 24, "[http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,828800,00.html Sport: Higher & Farther]," Time:
      Unperturbed when an overanxious opponent jumped the gun in the women's 60-yd. dash, willowy Wilma Rudolph exploded perfectly from the starting blocks.
  2. (idiomatic) To act or begin too soon or without due caution.
    • 1934 May 14, "[http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,754106,00.html Theatre: Pulitzer Pother]," Time:
      Taking advantage of advance press releases, gabby Walter Winchell jumped the gun a full two weeks by announcing in his radio period and tabloid column that the 1933-34 prizewinner was Men in White by Sidney Kingsley.
    • 2006 May 15, Rob Hughes, "Uneasiness in Italy as Scandal Widens ↗," New York Times (retrieved 3 Sept. 2011):
      The former prime minister appears to be jumping the gun, pre-empting the legal process that is just beginning to dig deeper.
  3. (idiomatic, finance, investing) To trade securities based on information that is not yet public; to trade on inside information.
Related terms
  • gun jumping
  • French: faire un faux départ
  • German: einen Frühstart hinlegen
  • Russian: соверши́ть фальста́рт
  • Spanish: partir en falso
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