shotgun

noun
shot·​gun | \ ˈshät-ˌgən \

Definition of shotgun

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a usually smoothbore shoulder weapon capable of firing shot at short ranges
2 : an offensive football formation in which the quarterback plays a few yards behind the line of scrimmage and the other backs are scattered as flankers or slotbacks

shotgun

adjective

Definition of shotgun (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or using a shotgun
2 : involving coercion
3 : covering a wide field with hit-or-miss effectiveness

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Other Words from shotgun

Noun

shotgun transitive verb
shotgunner \ ˈshät-​ˌgə-​nər \ noun

Examples of shotgun in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Police say Ramos, 38, used a shotgun to blast through the doors of The Capital newsroom and kill five staff members. Gordon Rago, baltimoresun.com, "Annapolis shooting suspect sent letter to a Virginian-Pilot editor, police say," 6 July 2018 Police found a shotgun in the home similar to the weapon used in the murder of Jayme’s parents. Douglas Belkin, WSJ, "Wisconsin Girl Escapes Captor 88 Days After Her Abduction and the Killing of Her Parents," 11 Jan. 2019 In one ad, Kemp holds a shotgun and pretends to threaten a young man interested in his daughter. NBC News, "Secret tape recordings rock Georgia governor race," 9 July 2018 While drones have been knocked down with thrown sticks, beer bottles, or by shotgun-wielding neighbors, these are usually slow or stationary drones hovering at short distance. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "What Are Airports Going to Do About Drones?," 9 Jan. 2019 The entertainer’s son Gary accused his father of coldness and abusive treatment, and two of Crosby’s other children, Dennis and Lindsay, committed suicide—both with a shotgun. Ted Gioia, WSJ, "‘Bing Crosby’ Review: Nothin’ but Blue Skies," 8 Nov. 2018 The attack came nearly three months after a man with a shotgun attacked a newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland, killing five staff members. David Mcfadden And Michael Kunzelman, Fox News, "4 dead, including suspect, after Maryland warehouse shooting," 21 Sep. 2018 Most passes were off drop-backs from under center interrupted by fake handoffs, a request of NFL teams and a far cry from his shotgun-intensive USC career that spanned 27 games. Tom Krasovic, sandiegouniontribune.com, "L.A. weather rains on Sam Darnold's parade — and that's good," 21 Mar. 2018 Trophy uses a ring of radars to detect incoming anti-tank weapons, tracking and then shooting them down with shotgun-like kinetic weapon system. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Israel's 'Namer' Infrantry Vehicle Could Be a Glimpse of the U.S. Army's Future," 13 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Lunch and registration begin at 11 a.m., with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. Post-Tribune, "Community calendar," 7 July 2017 Outing highlights include: Registration, lunch and a putting contest (noon) Shotgun start (1:30 p.m.) Dinner (6:30 p.m.) Proximities, skins, awards and a 50/50 raffle Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the event. Megan Becka, cleveland.com, "Akron Snow Angels to hold golf outing fundraiser," 13 June 2017 Outing highlights include: Registration, lunch and a putting contest (noon) Shotgun start (1:30 p.m.) Dinner (6:30 p.m.) Proximities, skins, awards and a 50/50 raffle Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the event. Megan Becka, cleveland.com, "Akron Snow Angels to hold golf outing fundraiser," 13 June 2017 Check-in at 11 a.m. followed by 1 p.m. shotgun start. Nick Roth, The Mercury News, "Golf events, tournaments, fundraisers," 7 June 2017

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

Noun

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1892, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for shotgun

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shotgun

The first known use of shotgun was in 1776

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More Definitions for shotgun

shotgun

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shotgun

: a gun with a long barrel that shoots a large number of small metal balls (called buckshot)
American football : an offensive formation in which the quarterback is a few yards behind the line of scrimmage at the start of a play

shotgun

noun
shot·​gun | \ ˈshät-ˌgən \

Kids Definition of shotgun

: a gun with a long barrel used to fire shot at short range

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More from Merriam-Webster on shotgun

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shotgun

Spanish Central: Translation of shotgun

Nglish: Translation of shotgun for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shotgun for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about shotgun

Comments on shotgun

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