: a venture involving great risk but promising a great reward if successful
also : a venture unlikely to succeed
: an entry (as in a horse race) given little chance of winning
: a bet in which the chances of winning are slight but the possible winnings great
by a long shot
: by a great deal

Examples of long shot in a Sentence

I hope to double my profits, but I know that's a long shot. The horse was a long shot, but we bet on him anyway. She always bets on long shots at the racetrack.
Recent Examples on the Web Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Representative Jim Jordan’s bid for speaker of the House was always a long shot, but his allies may have doomed him. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 20 Oct. 2023 Of course, Phillips is very much a long shot to win the Democratic nomination for president. Geoffrey Skelley, ABC News, 31 Oct. 2023 Ary Borges put a powerful, long shot on-frame that forced a diving save by Bixby to her right. oregonlive, 2 Sep. 2023 But that’s the wrong question, according to multiple Grammy voters and insiders, who say that Wallen is a long shot for Grammy nominations — especially in the country field — more because his brand of hyper-commercial country traditionally is just not the Academy’s cup of tea. Chris Willman, Variety, 12 Oct. 2023 Located about 30 miles north of Mobile, the home is the area’s priciest by a long shot A hunting ranch in southwestern Alabama is asking $12.5 million, nearly triple the price of the most expensive home ever sold in the area. Sarah Paynter, WSJ, 6 Oct. 2023 Analysts consider the possibility of wartime balloting a long shot, and under martial law, elections in Ukraine are suspended. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, 5 Oct. 2023 The only obvious current possibilities are Brad Marchand, clearly a long shot; Jayson Tatum, who has a long way to go; and Matthew Slater, who may have to battle a position bias as a special teamer. Bob Ryan, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Sep. 2023 Glück was a long shot, Gurnah was a shock, and Ernaux and Fosse were obvious choices that happened to be correct ones. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 5 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'long shot.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1796, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of long shot was in 1796

Dictionary Entries Near long shot

Cite this Entry

“Long shot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/long%20shot. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

long shot

: a great risk that promises a great reward if successful
: an entry (as in a horse race) given little chance of winning

More from Merriam-Webster on long shot

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