shoot

1 of 3

verb

shot ˈshät How to pronounce shoot (audio) ; shooting

transitive verb

1
a(1)
: to eject or impel or cause to be ejected or impelled by a sudden release of tension (as of a bowstring or slingshot or by a flick of a finger)
shoot an arrow
shoot a spitball
shoot a marble
(2)
: to drive forth or cause to be driven forth by an explosion (as of a powder charge in a firearm or of ignited fuel in a rocket)
(3)
: to drive forth or cause to be driven forth by a sudden release of gas or air
shoot darts from a blowgun
a steam catapult shoots planes from a carrier
(4)
: to propel (something, such as a ball or puck) toward a goal by striking or pushing with part of the body (such as the hand or foot) or with an implement
also : to score by so doing
shoot the winning goal
shoot a basket
(5)
: to throw or cast off or out often with force
shoot dice
the horse shot his rider out of the saddle
b
: to cause (something, such as a gun or bow) to propel a missile
c(1)
: to utter (words or sounds) rapidly or suddenly or with force
shoot out a stream of invective
(2)
: to emit (light, flame, fumes, etc.) suddenly and rapidly
(3)
: to send forth with suddenness or intensity
shot a look of anger at them
d
: to discharge, dump, or empty especially by overturning, upending, or directing into a slide
2
: to affect by shooting: such as
a
: to strike with a missile especially from a bow or gun
especially : to wound or kill with a missile discharged from a bow or firearm
b
: to remove or destroy by use of firearms
shot out the light
also : wreck, explode
3
a
: to push or slide (something, such as the bolt of a door or lock) into or out of a fastening
b
: to push or thrust forward : stick out
toads shooting out their tongues
c
: to put forth in growing
d
: to place, send, or bring into position abruptly
4
a(1)
: to engage in (a sport or game or a portion of a game that involves shooting) : play
shoot pool
shoot a round of golf
shoot craps
(2)
: to achieve (a particular score) in a game that involves shooting
shoot 80 in golf
b(1)
: to place or offer (a bet) on the result of casting dice
shoot $5
(2)
: to use up by or as if by betting : exhaust
shot his annual bonus on a shady deal
5
a
: to engage in the hunting and killing of (game birds or animals) with firearms especially as a sport
shoot woodcock
b
: to hunt over
shoot a tract of woodland
6
a
: to cause to move suddenly or swiftly forward
shot the car onto the highway
b
: to send or carry quickly : dispatch
shoot the letter on to me as soon as you receive it
7
: to variegate as if by sprinkling color in streaks, flecks, or patches
8
: to pass swiftly by, past, or along
shooting rapids
9
: to plane (something, such as the edge of a board) straight or true
10
a
: set off, detonate, ignite
shoot a charge of dynamite
b
: to effect by blasting
11
: to determine the altitude of
12
: to take a picture or series of pictures or television images of : photograph, film
13
a
: to give an injection to
b
: to inject (an illicit drug) especially into the bloodstream

intransitive verb

1
a
: to go or pass rapidly and precipitately
sparks shooting all over
his feet shot out from under him
b
: to move ahead by force of momentum
c
: to stream out suddenly : spurt
d
: to dart in or as if in rays from a source of light
e
: to dart with a piercing sensation
pain shot up my arm
2
a
: to cause an engine or weapon to discharge a missile
b
: to use a firearm or bow especially for sport (as in hunting)
3
: to propel a missile
guns that shoot many miles
4
5
a
: to grow or sprout by or as if by putting forth shoots
c
: to spring or rise rapidly or suddenly
often used with up
in a burst of growth he shot up to six feet tall
prices shot up
6
a
: to propel an object (such as a ball) in a particular way
b
: to drive the ball or puck toward a goal
7
: to cast dice
8
: to slide into or out of a fastening
a bolt that shoots in either direction
9
: to record something (as on film or videotape) with a camera
10
: to begin to speak
usually used as an imperative
OK, shoot, what do you have to say

shoot

2 of 3

noun

1
: a sending out of new growth or the growth sent out: such as
a
: a stem or branch with its leaves and appendages especially when not yet mature
b
2
a
: an act of shooting (as with a bow or a firearm):
(1)
: shot
(2)
: the firing of a missile especially by artillery
b(1)
: a hunting trip or party
(2)
: the right to shoot game in a particular area or land over which it is held
c(1)
: a shooting match
skeet shoot
(2)
: a round of shots in a shooting match
d
: the action or an instance of shooting with a camera : a session or a series of sessions of photographing or filming
a movie shoot
3
a
: a motion or movement of rapid thrusting: such as
(1)
: a sudden or rapid advance
(2)
: a momentary darting sensation : twinge
(4)
: the pace between strokes in rowing
b
: a bar of rays : beam
a shoot of sunlight
4
[probably by folk etymology from French chute — more at chute]
a
: a rush of water down a steep or rapid
b
: a place where a stream runs or descends swiftly

shoot

3 of 3

interjection

used to express annoyance or surprise
Phrases
shoot at or shoot for
: to aim at : strive for
shoot from the hip
: to act or speak hastily without consideration of the consequences
shoot one's bolt
: to exhaust one's capabilities and resources
shoot one's cuffs
: to tug one's shirt cuffs below those of one's coat
shoot oneself in the foot
: to act against one's own best interests
shoot the breeze
: to converse idly : gossip
shoot the shit
vulgar
: to shoot the breeze
shoot the works
1
: to venture all one's capital on one play
2
: to put forth all one's efforts

Examples of shoot in a Sentence

Verb Does this gun shoot accurately? He shot at the deer. The enemy was shooting at the rescue helicopter. She shot the arrow into the air. I tried shooting a gun for the first time. He shot a spitball into the girl's hair. a stunt in which she was shot from a cannon He shot two deer this hunting season. The police shot the suspect in the leg. She accidentally shot herself in the foot. Noun Small green shoots grew from the base of the tree. She is currently on a movie shoot in London.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Richman and his team mobbed across the world for the video shoot, which took place in Los Angeles, Paris and his home state of Virginia. Michael Saponara, Billboard, 5 July 2024 Yes, his lurid slasher—set in 1979 on a rural farm where an adult-film shoot goes very, very wrong—was hardly the most original movie ever made. David Sims, The Atlantic, 2 July 2024 Just sitting around, having been preserved all these years later for commemoration and future shoots like the one in MaXXXine. Paul Schrodt, Vulture, 28 June 2024 The three month period from January to March saw a double-digit drop in TV shoots, long a mainstay and anchor of production in the region, compared to the same period last year. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for shoot 

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

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English sheten, shoten, shuten, from Old English scēotan; akin to Old Norse skjōta to shoot

Noun

Middle English schot, schote projectile, new growth, in part from shoten, verb, in part from Old English sceot shot

Interjection

euphemism for shit

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Interjection

1876, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shoot was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near shoot

Cite this Entry

“Shoot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shoot. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

shoot

1 of 2 verb
shot ˈshät How to pronounce shoot (audio) ; shooting
1
a
: to let fly or cause to be driven forward with force
shoot an arrow
b
: to cause a missile to be driven out of
shoot a gun
c
: to cause a weapon to discharge a missile
shoot at a target
2
a
: to send (a marble) forward by snapping the thumb
b
: to hit or throw (as a ball or puck) toward a goal
c
: to score by shooting
shoot a basket
d
: play entry 2 sense 5a
shoot pool
3
: to strike with a missile from a bow or gun
especially : to kill by so doing
shot a deer
4
: to push or slide into or out of a fastening
shot the door bolt
5
a
: to push or thrust forward swiftly
lizards shooting out their tongues
b
: to grow rapidly
the corn is shooting up
6
a
: to go, move, or pass rapidly
they shot past on skis
b
: to pass swiftly along
shoot the rapids in a canoe
c
: to stream out suddenly : spurt
d
: to dart with a piercing sensation
shooting pains
7
: to take the altitude of
shoot the sun with a sextant
8
: to take a picture or series of pictures or television images of
shooter noun

shoot

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: a plant stem with its leaves and branches especially when not yet mature
2
a
: an act of shooting
b
: a hunting trip or party
c
: a shooting match

Medical Definition

shoot

transitive verb
shot ˈshät How to pronounce shoot (audio) ; shooting
1
: to give an injection to
2
: to take or administer (as a drug) by hypodermic needle

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