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jump the gun

Meaning: If you jump the gun, you start doing something too soon.

For example:

  • If you're in a debate, wait until you're invited to speak and don't jump the gun by speaking before you should.

  • The company jumped the gun and released the product before the public was ready for it.

Origin: Metaphorical derivation from athletics, in which an offical starter fires a gun to signal the start of a race. A runner who begins running before the race has been started has "jumped the gun".

Quick Quiz:

Donny was playing the part of a detective in the play, but he jumped the gun on the first night. He
  1. accidentally fired his gun
  2. forgot what his lines were
  3. started saying his lines too soon

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