an act of firing a gun:
He pulled out his rifle and fired three shots.
The first shot missed my head by just a few inches.
The shot hit the raider in the upper chest and killed him instantly.
A crazy man took a shot at her (=tried to shoot her) from a rooftop.
He fired off a volley of shots from his semi-automatic rifle.
The policeman was killed by a single shot.
the sound of a gun being fired:
Where were you when you heard the shot?
Two shots rang out (=could be heard), and security guards rushed over, guns drawn.
someone who is good, bad etc at shooting:
Sergeant Cooper is an excellent shot.
small metal balls that are shot, many at a time, from a shotgun
b) old usePMW
large metal balls that are shot from a cannon
an attempt in sport to throw, kick, or hit the ball towards the place where you can get a point:
attempt to score[countable]DS
Shaw took a shot at the goal from the halfway line, but missed.
a photograph [= picture] ➔ mugshot
a close-up shot of a demonstrator being beaten by a policeman
I managed to get some good shots of the carnival.
We hired a photographer to take some publicity shots.
action shots of football players (=ones taken of people while they are moving)
the view of something in a film or television programme that is produced by having the camera in a particular position:
In the opening shot we see Travolta's feet walking down the sidewalk.
an attempt to do something or achieve something, especially something difficult
shot at (doing) something
This is her first shot at directing a play.
If Lewis won his next fight, he would be guaranteed a shot at the title (=chance to win the title).
I decided to have a shot at decorating the house myself.
I didn't think I had much chance of winning the race, but I thought I'd give it a shot (=try to do it).
The network finally gave Keaton a shot at presenting his own show.
to make as much effort as you can to achieve something difficult:
This case is going to be tough, but I promise I'll give it my best shot.
Lydia didn't get the job, but at least she gave it her best shot.
used to say that a plan is worth trying, even though you think it is unlikely to succeed:
It's a long shot, but someone might recognise her from the photo and be able to tell us where she lives.
b) American English
if someone is a long shot, they are not likely to be chosen for a job or to win an election, competition etc:
Turner is a long shot to win next month's mayoral election.
a horse, dog etc in a race, whose chances of winning are expressed as numbers
an attempt to guess something without having any facts or definite ideas:
My answer to the last question was a complete shot in the dark.
a remark that is intended to criticize or hurt someone:
I'm not going to sit here listening to you two take shots at each other all night.
She couldn't resist a parting shot (=one that you make just before you leave) - 'And you were a lousy lover!'
That was a cheap shot! (=one that is unfair and unreasonable)
if you do something like a shot, you do it very quickly and eagerly:
If he asked me to go to Africa with him, I'd go like a shot!
something you say or do to warn someone that you oppose what they are doing and will try to make them stop it - used especially in news reports:
The President's own supporters are firing a warning shot across his bows.
an important or powerful person, especially in business:
a big shot in the record business
a small amount of a strong alcoholic drink
a shot of tequila
a shot glass (=a small glass for strong alcoholic drinks)
an injection of a drug (=when it is put into the body with a needle) [= jab British English]
drug[countable] especially American EnglishMDD
Have you had your typhoid and cholera shots?
something that makes you more confident or more successful:
The new factory will give the local economy a much needed shot in the arm.
a heavy metal ball that competitors try to throw as far as possible in the sport of shot put