\ˈshüt \
shot\ˈshät \; shooting

Definition of shoot 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a(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

3a : 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

4a(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

5a : 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

6a : 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

10a : 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

13a : to give an injection to

b : to inject (an illicit drug) especially into the bloodstream

intransitive verb

1a : 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

2a : 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

5a : to grow or sprout by or as if by putting forth shoots

b : develop, mature

c : to spring or rise rapidly or suddenly often used with up in a burst of growth he shot up to six feet tallprices shot up

6a : 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 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

: 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



Definition of shoot (Entry 2 of 3)

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 : offshoot

2a : 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

3a : a motion or movement of rapid thrusting: such as

(1) : a sudden or rapid advance

(2) : a momentary darting sensation : twinge

(3) : thrust sense 3b

(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



Definition of shoot (Entry 3 of 3)

used to express annoyance or surprise

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Examples of shoot in a Sentence


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.


Small green shoots grew from the base of the tree. She is currently on a movie shoot in London.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The result is a generalized yellowing, lackluster growth and sometimes, even some shoot dieback. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "There's no such thing as 'average' Kentucky weather. And trees hate that," 13 July 2018 The cosmic object that had traveled so far to reach Earth, a subatomic particle called a neutrino, shoots through the universe in a straight line — passing through stars and even people without shifting course. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Blazing a trail: UW professor's dream leads to breakthrough in identifying origin of cosmic rays," 12 July 2018 Starting today, Smashbox is launching seven new Cover Shot Eye Palettes that are inspired by trends spotted at Smashbox shoots. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "Smashbox Teamed Up with Influencer Jasmine Sanders to Launch 7 New Mini Eye Palettes," 11 July 2018 The proud new mom announced the news with a stunning nude pregnancy shoot on Instagram this morning. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Cardi B Gives Birth to a Baby Girl," 11 July 2018 Before heading to the event, Jenner posed with best friend of eight years Stassie Karanikolaou for a mini Instagram shoot. Kaitlyn Frey,, "See Kylie Jenner's Filler-Free Lips in First Outing Since She Revealed She Had Them Removed," 10 July 2018 Enceladus has a subsurface ocean and shoots jets of water vapor that becomes ionized (stripped of some atoms) and wind up circling Saturn. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Saturn and Its Moon Enceladus Talk To Each Other. The Sound Is Perfectly Cosmic and Eerie.," 10 July 2018 Photo shoot pictures shared thousands of times on social media Indiana photographer Cindy Johnson's made her point. Amanda Kingsbury, Indianapolis Star, "Ugly. Chubby. Scarred. Hate is washed away in Indiana photographer's swimsuit shoot," 10 July 2018 Chiesa shoots in for another takedown but doesn’t come close and looks tired. Todd Martin,, "Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis live round-by-round coverage," 8 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shoot.' 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 shoot


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1876, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shoot


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


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


euphemism for shit

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Dictionary Entries near shoot







shoot apex

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Time Traveler for shoot

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

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More Definitions for shoot



English Language Learners Definition of shoot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the part of a new plant that is just beginning to grow above the ground

: a new branch and its leaves on an established plant

: an occasion when a movie, television show, etc., is being filmed



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

—used to show that you are annoyed or surprised


\ˈshüt \
shot\ˈshät \; shooting

Kids Definition of shoot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to let fly or cause to be driven forward with force He shot an arrow into the air.

2 : to cause a projectile (as a bullet) to be driven out of The guard shot a gun.

3 : to cause a weapon to discharge a projectile Aim and shoot.

4 : to strike with a projectile from a bow or gun He shot a deer.

5 : to hit, throw, or kick (as a ball or puck) toward or into a goal

6 : to score by shooting The player shot a basket.

7 : play entry 1 sense 2 Let's shoot some pool.

8 : to thrust forward swiftly Lizards shot out their tongues.

9 : to grow rapidly The corn is shooting up.

10 : to go, move, or pass rapidly They shot past on skis.

11 : to direct at quickly and suddenly I shot them an angry look.

12 : to stream out suddenly : spurt Blood was shooting from the wound.

13 : to film or photograph The movie was shot in Australia.

14 : to pass swiftly along or through We shot the rapids in a canoe.

Other Words from shoot

shooter noun



Kids Definition of shoot (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a stem or branch of a plant especially when young or just beginning to grow

2 : a hunting party or trip a duck shoot

\ˈshüt \
shot\ˈshät \; shooting

Medical Definition of shoot 

1 : to give an injection to

2 : to take or administer (as a drug) by hypodermic needle

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More from Merriam-Webster on shoot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shoot

Spanish Central: Translation of shoot

Nglish: Translation of shoot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shoot for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shoot

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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