\ ˈshät \

Definition of shot 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : an action of shooting

b : a directed propelling of a missile specifically : a directed discharge of a firearm

c(1) : a stroke or throw in an attempt to score points in a game (such as tennis, pool, or basketball) also : home run

(2) : ability to shoot has the best shot on the team

d : blast sense 5a

e : a medical or narcotics injection

2a plural shot : something propelled by shooting especially : small lead or steel pellets especially forming a charge for a shotgun

b : a metal sphere of iron or brass that is heaved in the shot put

3a : the distance that a missile is or can be thrown

b : range, reach

4 : a charge to be paid : scot

5 : one that shoots especially : marksman

6a : attempt, try give it a shot

b : guess, conjecture

c : chance sense 4a a shot at winning the prize

d : a single appearance as an entertainer did a guest shot for the program

7 : an effective remark especially : swipe sense 2 a parting shot

8a : a single photographic exposure especially : snapshot

b : a single sequence of a motion picture or a television program shot by one camera without interruption

9 : a charge of explosives

10a : a small measure or serving (such as one ounce) of undiluted liquor or other beverage vodka shots a shot of espresso

b : a small amount applied at one time : dose a shot of fertilizer a shot of humor

11 shot plural : sprinkles, jimmies

a shot

: for each one : apiece

like a shot

: very rapidly

shot in the arm shot in the dark

1 : a wild guess

2 : an attempt that has little chance of success


Definition of shot (Entry 2 of 3)

past tense and past participle of shoot



Definition of shot (Entry 3 of 3)

1a of a fabric : having contrasting and changeable color effects : iridescent

b : suffused or streaked with a color hair shot with gray

c : infused or permeated with a quality or element shot through with wit

2 : having the form of pellets resembling shot

3 : reduced to a ruined or useless state his nerves are shot

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Examples of shot in a Sentence


cannon operators often had to use several shots to figure out the range of their targets let's take another shot at the puzzle


The tires on the car are shot.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The shooter, who was in the passenger seat, exits the vehicle after firing a few shots on Tierney Place near Longstreet Avenue and chases Zottola, shooting him a total of three times before fleeing the scene. Fox News, "Shocking video shows attempted hit on son of Bonanno crime family associate," 13 July 2018 Baber then can be seen in the video, according to Deters, firing five shots at Urton. Kevin Grasha,, "Racially charged murder trial canceled because of 'new evidence'," 13 July 2018 That’s when one Salisbury officer fired a single shot, hitting the man, police said in a statement. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "NC police shoot man holding Harris Teeter staff hostage during standoff," 13 July 2018 The witnesses told officers two groups were yelling at each other, then fired shots across nearby Jaques Avenue. Andres Picon,, "Worcester police probe shooting of 22-year-old man," 12 July 2018 Baumgardt fired three shots at Pickett, who was struck at least once. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "Authorities charge 2 more men in death of Boone County Deputy Jacob Pickett," 11 July 2018 Some of Warhol’s shots, particularly those featuring famous friends at clubs and social hotspots, mimic the invasive photos seen in celebrity tabloids. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Thousands of Unseen Photos Featuring Andy Warhol and Celebrity Pals to Be Digitized," 11 July 2018 Then, at Fort Place and Montgomery Avenue, the officers saw the minivan ram into a house that serves as a bed-and-breakfast, crushing the man the police believe fired shots. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "Man Is Killed by Stolen Minivan After Gunfire Near Courthouse," 10 July 2018 Robertson was with two other people in the car, around 2:10 p.m., when an unknown number of people fired several shots into the back window. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "Man shot, killed while sitting in car in Houston's South Side," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Florida lawmakers passed a school-safety bill less than a month after 17 people were fatally shot February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Brandon Griggs And Dakin Andone, CNN, "Since Parkland, 14 states have introduced 25 measures to arm teachers and staff. Only 1 has passed," 21 May 2018 Of them, at least 90 of the people fatally shot - 18 percent - have been black. Alex Horton, Anchorage Daily News, "Pennsylvania officer who killed Antwon Rose charged with criminal homicide," 27 June 2018 Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is openly exploring what would be a more long-shot presidential bid. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, "How California became the blue state alternative to Trump," 15 May 2018 Dan Freilich is a doctor who is waging a long-shot primary battle against Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., a co-sponsor of one of the versions of the legislation., "Congressional challengers use bill backed by drug companies against incumbents," 13 May 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot 5 1/2 years ago by Pakistani Taliban militants for championing girls' education, made a surprise return to her home country Thursday for the first time since the attack. Shashank Bengali,, "Malala Yousafzai makes emotional return to Pakistan for the first time since shooting," 29 Mar. 2018 Lowe says officers went inside in an attempt to apprehend the suspect who then fatally shot one officer and wounded the others. Fox News, "The Latest: Officers were sent to wrong house and then shot," 7 Mar. 2018 Those shot range, in age and race, across the spectrum. Al Saracevic, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF boxer Karim Mayfield facing his biggest fight: for justice," 1 Apr. 2018 Anderson then fatally shot Boice the morning of Feb. 28, authorities said. Crystal Hill, miamiherald, "He killed two people and tried to flee. But ‘cardiac karma’ did him in, Fla. cops say | Miami Herald," 22 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shot.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shot


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1763, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shot


Middle English, from Old English sceot, scot; akin to Old High German scuz, Old Norse skot shot, Old English scēotan to shoot — more at shoot

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Statistics for shot

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shot

The first known use of shot was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for shot



English Language Learners Definition of shot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an act of shooting a gun

: the objects (called ammunition) that are shot from cannons and other old-fashioned weapons

: a person who shoots a gun



English Language Learners Definition of shot (Entry 2 of 2)

: in a very bad condition

of a fabric : having threads of a different color woven in

: having a particular color, quality, feature, etc., throughout


\ ˈshät \

Kids Definition of shot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of shooting The shot missed.

2 plural shot : a bullet, ball, or pellet for a gun or cannon

3 : attempt entry 2, try Take another shot at the puzzle.

4 : chance entry 1 sense 4 You have a shot at winning.

5 : the flight of a projectile or the distance it travels : range They were within rifle shot.

6 : a person who shoots That hunter is a good shot.

7 : a heavy metal ball thrown for distance in a track-and-field contest ( shot put )

8 : an act of hitting, throwing, or kicking a ball or puck toward or into a goal

9 : an injection of something (as medicine) into the body


Kids Definition of shot (Entry 2 of 2)

past tense and past participle of shoot


\ ˈshät \

Medical Definition of shot 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: an injection of a drug, immunizing substance, nutrient, or medicament a tetanus shot — see booster shot, flu shot


Medical Definition of shot (Entry 2 of 2)

past and past part of shoot

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More from Merriam-Webster on shot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shot

Spanish Central: Translation of shot

Nglish: Translation of shot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shot for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shot

What made you want to look up shot? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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