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a discharge of a firearm, bow, etc.
the range of or the distance traveled by a missile in its flight.
an aimed discharge of a missile.
an attempt to hit a target with a missile.
an act or instance of shooting a firearm, bow, etc.
a small ball or pellet of lead, a number of which are loaded in a cartridge and used for one charge of a shotgun.
such pellets collectively:
a charge of shot.
a projectile for discharge from a firearm or cannon.
such projectiles collectively:
shot and shell.
a person who shoots; marksman:
He was a good shot.
Slang. a blow; punch:
The prizefighter was knocked out by a shot in the chin.
anything like a shot, especially in being sudden and forceful.
a heavy metal ball that competitors cast as far as possible in shot-putting contests.
an aimed stroke, throw, or the like, as in certain games, especially in an attempt to score.
an attempt or try:
He’s entitled to a shot at the championship.
a remark aimed at some person or thing.
a guess at something.
a hypodermic injection, as of a serum, vaccine, narcotic, or anaesthetic:
He took a series of immunizing shots for hay fever.
a small quantity, especially an ounce, of undiluted liquor.
an amount due, especially at a tavern.

a photograph, especially a snapshot:
Here’s a nice shot of my kids.
the act of making a photograph, especially a snapshot.

Movies, Television. a unit of action photographed without interruption and constituting a single camera view.
an explosive charge in place for detonation, as in mining or quarrying.
Metallurgy. comparatively hard globules of metal in the body of a casting.
Nautical. a 90-foot (27-meter) length of anchor cable or chain.
Checkers. a compulsory series of exchanges, especially when it proves favorable to the aggressor.

a pick sent through the shed in a single throw of the shuttle.
(in carpet weaving) filling yarn used to bind the pile to the fabric, usually expressed with a preceding number representing the quantity of picks used:
three-shot carpet.
a defect in a fabric caused by an unusual color or size in the yarn.

a chance with odds for and against; a bet:
a 20 to 1 shot that his horse will come in first.
to load or supply with shot.
to weight with shot.
to manufacture shot, as in a shot tower.
by a long shot. long shot (def 4).
call one’s shots, Informal. to indicate beforehand what one intends to do and how one intends to do it.
call the shots, Informal. to have the power or authority to make decisions or control policy:
Now that he’s chairman of the board, he calls the shots.
have / take a shot at, make an attempt at:
I’ll have a shot at solving the problem.
like a shot, instantly; quickly:
He bolted out of here like a shot.
shot in the arm, Informal. something that results in renewed vigor, confidence, etc.; stimulus:
Her recent promotion has given her a shot in the arm. The new members gave the club a shot in the arm.
shot in the dark, Informal. a wild guess; a random conjecture.
simple past tense and past participle of shoot1 .
woven so as to present a play of colors; having a changeable color; variegated, as silk.
spread or streaked with color:
the dawn sky shot with gold.
in hopelessly bad condition; ruined:
Those sneakers are really shot. His morale is shot.
Slang. intoxicated.
to hit, wound, damage, kill, or destroy with a missile discharged from a weapon.
to execute or put to death with a bullet:
to be shot at sunrise.
to send forth or discharge (a missile) from a weapon:
to shoot a bullet.
to discharge (a weapon):
to shoot a gun.
to send forth (words, ideas, etc.) rapidly:
to shoot questions at someone.
to fling; propel:
The volcano shot lava high into the air.
to direct suddenly or swiftly:
Shoot the spotlight on the doorway. He shot a smile at his wife.
to move suddenly; send swiftly along.
to go over (country) in hunting game.
to pass rapidly through, over, down, etc.:
to shoot rapids.
to emit (a ray or rays, as of light) suddenly, briefly, or intermittently.
to variegate by threads, streaks, etc., of another color.
to cause to extend or project:
He shot out his arm and grabbed the ball.
to discharge or empty, as down a chute:
Do not shoot rubbish here!

to throw, kick, or otherwise propel (a ball, puck, etc.), as at a goal or teammate.
to score (a goal, points, etc.) by propelling the ball, puck, etc.

Games. to propel (a marble) from the crook or first knuckle of the forefinger by flicking with the thumb.

to throw (the dice or a specific number).
to wager or offer to bet (a sum of money):
I’ll shoot ten bucks.

Photography. to photograph or film.
to put forth (buds, branches, etc.), as a plant.
to slide (a bolt or the like) into or out of its fastening.
to pull (one’s cuffs) abruptly toward one’s hands.
Golf. to make a final score of (so many strokes):
He shot a 73 on the first 18 holes of the tournament.
to take the altitude of (a heavenly body):
to shoot the sun.
to detonate; cause to explode, as a charge of explosives.
Aeronautics. to practice (a maneuver) by repetition:
to shoot landings.
Slang. to inject (an addictive drug) intravenously.
to send forth missiles from a bow, firearm, or the like.
to be discharged, as a firearm.
to hunt with a gun for sport:
He fishes, but he doesn’t shoot.
to move or pass suddenly or swiftly; spurt:
The car shot ahead and was soon out of sight.
Nautical. to acquire momentum and coast into the wind, as a sailboat in a confined area.
to grow forth from the ground, as a stem.
to put forth buds or shoots, as a plant; germinate.
Photography. to photograph.
Movies. to film or begin to film a scene or movie.
to extend; jut:
a cape shooting out into the sea.
Sports, Games.

to propel a ball, puck, etc., at a goal, basket, pocket, etc., or in a specific direction:
He shot for the green with a five iron.
to propel a ball in a specific way:
The center shoots left-handed.

to be felt by or flow through or permeate the body:
Pain shot through his injured arm. Chills shot up and down her spine.
to carry by force of discharge or momentum:
The missile left its pad and shot thousands of miles into space.
Informal. to begin, especially to begin to talk:
I want to hear your complaint, so shoot!
the act of shooting with a bow, firearm, etc.
Chiefly British. a hunting trip or expedition.
a match or contest at shooting.
a growing or sprouting, as of a plant.
a new or young growth that shoots off from some portion of a plant.
the amount of such growth.
a young branch, stem, twig, or the like.
a sprout that is not three feet high.
a chute.
Rocketry. the launching of a missile.
Informal. a photographic assignment or session, as for a feature film or a television commercial:
The actress is away on a shoot.
Rowing. the interval between strokes.

a small tunnel branching off from a larger tunnel.
a narrow vein of ore.

shoot down,

to cause to fall by hitting with a shot:
They shot down several ducks.
Informal. to disparage, reject, or expose as false or inadequate; debunk:
to shoot down a popular theory.

shoot for/at, to attempt to obtain or accomplish; strive toward:
He is shooting for a higher production level.
shoot up,

to grow rapidly or suddenly.
Informal. to damage or harass by reckless shooting:
cowboys shooting up the town.
to wound by shooting:
He shot up the lion, but his guide killed it.
Slang. to inject an addictive drug intravenously.

shoot from the hip, to act or speak without due consideration or deliberation.
shoot off one’s mouth / face, Slang.

to talk indiscreetly, especially to reveal confidences, make thoughtless remarks, etc.
to exaggerate:
He likes to shoot off his mouth about what a great guy he is.

shoot one’s bolt. bolt1 (def 28).
shoot one’s wad. wad1 (def 13).
shoot the breeze. breeze1 (def 11).
shoot the bull. bull3 (def 2).
shoot the works. work (def 54).
Contemporary Examples

Newsweek’s Liohn Roars Blake Gopnik April 24, 2012
Behind the Gert Boyle Kidnap Attempt Winston Ross November 26, 2010
Lawrence Wright: How I Write Noah Charney May 21, 2013
Michelle Obama’s Biggest Fashion Regret; LVMH Launches Contest for Emerging Designers The Fashion Beast Team November 20, 2013
Yes, Bin Laden’s Killer Will Get Healthcare Benefits David Frum February 11, 2013

Historical Examples

The Calico Cat Charles Miner Thompson
Explorations in Australia John Forrest
The Best Short Stories of 1919 Various
Explorations in Australia John Forrest
In the Wilds of Africa W.H.G. Kingston

the act or an instance of discharging a projectile
(pl) shot. a solid missile, such as an iron ball or a lead pellet, discharged from a firearm

small round pellets of lead collectively, as used in cartridges
metal in the form of coarse powder or small pellets

the distance that a discharged projectile travels or is capable of travelling
a person who shoots, esp with regard to his ability: he is a good shot
(informal) an attempt; effort
(informal) a guess or conjecture
any act of throwing or hitting something, as in certain sports
the launching of a rocket, missile, etc, esp to a specified destination: a moon shot

a single photograph: I took 16 shots of the wedding
a series of frames on cine film concerned with a single event
a length of film taken by a single camera without breaks, used with others to build up a full motion picture or television film

(informal) an injection, as of a vaccine or narcotic drug
(informal) a glass of alcoholic drink, esp spirits
(sport) a heavy metal ball used in the shot put
an explosive charge used in blasting
globules of metal occurring in the body of a casting that are harder than the rest of the casting
a unit of chain length equal to 75 feet (Brit) or 90 feet (US)
(slang) call the shots, to have control over an organization, course of action, etc
(informal) have a shot at

to attempt
(Austral) to jibe at or vex

like a shot, very quickly, esp willingly
(informal) shot in the arm, anything that regenerates, increases confidence or efficiency, etc: his arrival was a shot in the arm for the company
shot in the dark, a wild guess
(Austral, informal) that’s the shot, that is the right thing to do
verb shots, shotting, shotted
(transitive) to weight or load with shot
the past tense and past participle of shoot
(of textiles) woven to give a changing colour effect: shot silk
streaked with colour
(slang) exhausted
(slang) get shot of, get shut of, to get rid of
verb shoots, shooting, shot
(transitive) to hit, wound, damage, or kill with a missile discharged from a weapon
to discharge (a missile or missiles) from a weapon
to fire (a weapon) or (of a weapon) to be fired
to send out or be sent out as if from a weapon: he shot questions at her
(intransitive) to move very rapidly; dart
(transitive) to slide or push into or out of a fastening: to shoot a bolt
to emit (a ray of light) or (of a ray of light) to be emitted
(transitive) to go or pass quickly over or through: to shoot rapids
(intransitive) to hunt game with a gun for sport
(transitive) to pass over (an area) in hunting game
to extend or cause to extend; project
(transitive) to discharge down or as if down a chute
(intransitive) (of a plant) to produce (buds, branches, etc)
(intransitive) (of a seed) to germinate
to photograph or record (a sequence, subject, etc)
(transitive; usually passive) to variegate or streak, as with colour
(sport) to hit or propel (the ball, etc) towards the goal
(transitive) (sport, mainly US & Canadian) to score (points, strokes, etc): he shot 72 on the first round
(transitive) to plane (a board) to produce a straight edge
(transitive) (mining) to detonate
(transitive) to measure the altitude of (a celestial body)
(often foll by up) (slang) to inject (someone, esp oneself) with (a drug, esp heroin)
shoot a line, See line1 (sense 58)
shoot from the hip, to speak bluntly or impulsively without concern for the consequences
shoot one’s bolt, See bolt1 (sense 13)
(informal) shoot oneself in the foot, to damage one’s own cause inadvertently
(slang) shoot one’s mouth off

to talk indiscreetly
to boast or exaggerate

shoot the breeze, See breeze1 (sense 5)
the act of shooting
the action or motion of something that is shot
the first aerial part of a plant to develop from a germinating seed
any new growth of a plant, such as a bud, young branch, etc
(mainly Brit) a meeting or party organized for hunting game with guns
an area or series of coverts and woods where game can be hunted with guns
a steep descent in a stream; rapid
(informal) a photographic assignment
(geology, mining) a narrow workable vein of ore
(obsolete) the reach of a shot
(slang) the whole shoot, everything
(US & Canadian) an exclamation expressing disbelief, scepticism, disgust, disappointment, etc

O, ’tis cash makes such crowds to the gin shops roam,
And ’tis cash often causes a rumpus at home ;
‘Tis when short of cash people oft shoot the moon ;
And ’tis cash always keeps our pipes in tune.
Cash! cash! &c.

[“The Melodist and Mirthful Olio, An Elegant Collection of the Most Popular Songs,” vol. IV, London, 1829]


The part of a vascular plant that is above ground, including the stem and leaves. The tips of shoots contain the apical meristem.

shot in the arm, a
shot in the dark
shot to hell
shot up


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