sharp·​shoot·​er ˈshärp-ˌshü-tər How to pronounce sharpshooter (audio)
plural sharpshooters
: a person who is highly skilled in shooting a weapon (such as a rifle) at a mark or target
a police sharpshooter
Determined to prevent any attempt on Lincoln's life, General Winfield Scott had placed sharpshooters on the roofs of buildings along the avenue …David Herbert Donald
sports : a consistently accurate shooter (as in basketball)
A 6' 9" sharpshooter who several NBA scouts predict will be a first-round pick …Tim Crothers
: any of various large leafhoppers that have powerful hind legs with spines on the tibia
The sharpshooter uses a needlelike mouthpart to suck fluids from trees and plants. As it goes from one to the next, it spreads diseases that can wipe out orange groves and other crops.Carl Zimmer
In Temecula, disease-carrying sharpshooters have turned some vineyards into wastelands.Steve Schmidt

Examples of sharpshooter in a Sentence

the police stationed sharpshooters on rooftops all along the route of the presidential motorcade
Recent Examples on the Web The two sharpshooters will face off over All-Star Weekend in the first NBA vs. WNBA three-point contest to settle a long-running debate. Ben Morse, CNN, 17 Feb. 2024 Roughly two years before the Charlotte Hornets acquired the sharpshooter, Curry had been picked up by the Brooklyn Nets. Shane Connuck, Charlotte Observer, 13 Feb. 2024 The sharpshooter found room in the Ygnacio Valley zone and made back-to-back 3-pointers, the second of which gave the Ugly Eagles a 51-41 lead with under five minutes to play. Nathan Canilao, The Mercury News, 11 Feb. 2024 Last year, the Catalina Island Conservancy caused an uproar with its plan to cull the deer using sharpshooters in helicopters, and a petition to stop the hunt racked up more than 17,000 signatures (around 4,000 people live on the island). Michael Charboneau, Los Angeles Times, 8 Feb. 2024 The first trailer for the shoot-'em-up period movie, debuted first exclusively by PEOPLE, introduces Rickards as the titular real-life legendary sharpshooter from the 19th century, and her former onscreen husband Amell rocking yet another questionable wig as Wild Bill Hickok, the love of her life. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 25 Jan. 2024 Within days, investigators learned the suspect had explosives training, was a skilled sharpshooter, and was armed with a substantial arsenal, as well as, possibly, high-capacity weapons. Molly Langmuir, Rolling Stone, 2 Feb. 2024 Advertisement The Bruins were in the running for Rutgers sharpshooter Cam Spencer (now making 46.8% of his three-pointers and averaging 15.5 points for Connecticut) and USC’s Reese Dixon-Waters (now averaging 12.1 points for San Diego State) but lost out for various reasons. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 19 Jan. 2024 Jefferson’s is the favorite venue for starting center KJ Adams, walk-on sharpshooter Michael Jankovich and McCullar, but there’s no consensus on how best to enjoy the wings. Scott Chasen, Kansas City Star, 18 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sharpshooter.' 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

1794, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sharpshooter was in 1794

Dictionary Entries Near sharpshooter

Cite this Entry

“Sharpshooter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


sharp·​shoot·​er ˈshärp-ˌshüt-ər How to pronounce sharpshooter (audio)
: one skilled in shooting : a good marksman

More from Merriam-Webster on sharpshooter

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