smoking gun

Home » Modern Medicine » Forensics » smoking gun
smoking gun2016-12-18T21:12:05+00:00

smoking gun


Definition A regional street term for heroin and cocaine 

smoking gun image from New Medical Terms

smoking gun


Definition A term for an object or fact that provides conclusive evidence linking a perpetrator to a crime or criminal act, the premise being that if the gun used to injure or kill a person is still smoking (or recently discharged) and on the person accused of firing the weapon, the person in possession of the gun almost certainly committed the crime. 

Synonym Incontrovertible incrimination



Definition A metaphor referring to the definitive confirmation of a cause-and-effect relationship

Comment In the US legal system, an act of homicide can only be absolutely confirmed if the perpetrator is found alone with the victim(s), holding a “smoking” gun. The phrase has been adopted in medicine for determining the cause of a disease, where the strength and design of an epidemiologic study produces evidence so compelling, that it can be likened to a “smoking” gun. The phrase appears to have been first used by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional persona, Sherlock Holmes, in The Gloria Scott (1893). The original phrase, smoking pistol, was changed over time to smoking gun.  

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.