Language: Old English
Origin: scot


1 noun
Related topics: Film, Drink, Sport, Weapons, Photography


a) 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.
b) 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.

a good/bad etc shot

DS someone who is good, bad etc at shooting:
Sergeant Cooper is an excellent shot.


a) PMW 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

attempt to score

[countable]DS an attempt in sport to throw, kick, or hit the ball towards the place where you can get a point:
Shaw took a shot at the goal from the halfway line, but missed.


[countable] a photograph [= picture]
shot of
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)


[countable]TCPAMF 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.


[countable] informal 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.

give something your best shot

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.

be a long shot

a) 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 10 to 1 shot/50 to 1 shot etc

DGG a horse, dog etc in a race, whose chances of winning are expressed as numbers

a shot in the dark

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.

critical remark

[countable] 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)

like a shot

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!

a shot across the bows/a warning shot (across the bows)

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.

big shot

an important or powerful person, especially in business:
a big shot in the record business


[countable]DFD a small amount of a strong alcoholic drink
shot of
a shot of tequila
a shot glass (=a small glass for strong alcoholic drinks)


[countable] especially American EnglishMDD an injection of a drug (=when it is put into the body with a needle) [= jab British English]
Have you had your typhoid and cholera shots?

a shot in the arm

something that makes you more confident or more successful:
The new factory will give the local economy a much needed shot in the arm.

heavy ball

[countable]DS a heavy metal ball that competitors try to throw as far as possible in the sport of shot put

➔ call the shots

at call1 (9)

; ➔ by a long chalk/shot

at long1 (21)

; ➔ long shot

at long1 (18), buckshot, gunshot, snapshot, pot shot

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