\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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Synonyms for shot

Synonyms: Noun

assay [archaic], attempt, bash [chiefly British], bid, crack, endeavor, essay, fling, go, offer, pass, stab, trial, try, whack, whirl

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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

Tiger Woods plays his second shot on the sixth hole. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson Matchup Marred by Streaming Glitch," 23 Nov. 2018 In any case, players who want to slow down and consider their shots are out of luck here. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Hands-on: Fallout 76 lets you bring some company to the Apocalypse," 8 Oct. 2018 Dwyer took advantage, firing a shot into the bottom left corner of the goal. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City earns 2-1 win over Toronto FC, snaps nine-match MLS losing skid," 14 July 2018 Of their other 10 shots, six were off target and four were blocked. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018 Mitch Polay, pleading for Delancy’s life, said there was no evidence presented that his client fired the shots that ended Tephford’s life. Rafael Olmeda,, "Slain deputy's killers deserve to die, prosecutor tells Broward jury," 12 July 2018 Last season, Johnson averaged 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, making 51 percent of his shots, including 42.9 percent on 3-pointers. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "3 prospects who could help Louisville basketball's 2019 signing class," 11 July 2018 Mandzukic had Croatia’s best chance at the end of the first additional period, but Pickford blocked his shot from close range. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Croatia tops England in extra time to reach World Cup final," 11 July 2018 The Duchess seemed to love posting inspirational quotes, outfit of the day shots, her cute dogs, and of course, a shameless selfie. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Made Her Return to Social Media in a Sneaky Way," 29 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

As far as Strzok is concerned, that seems to be an open and shot case for firing. Fox News, "FBI's Andrew McCabe fired, DOJ releases statement," 16 Mar. 2018 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

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

1 Dec 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

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to enclose within walls

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