slings and arrows

plural noun

: pointed often acerbic critical attacks
has suffered the slings and arrows of detractorsRoland Gelatt

Examples of slings and arrows in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those slings and arrows now include a campaign by Musk to chip away at Delaware’s special status in the corporate world. Rachel Lerman, Washington Post, 19 Feb. 2024 Lopez’s forgiving nature can at least partially be attributed to having a partner who has also suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Stephen Rodrick, Variety, 13 Feb. 2024 And while men suffer the slings and arrows of jealousy in several high-profile Oscar contenders, women arguably experience more fallout from it than their male counterparts. Diane Garrett, Variety, 15 Dec. 2023 Getty Images This housing market has Bank of America economists in a Shakespearean mood about the eternal debate: The slings and arrows of buying versus renting. Alena Botros, Fortune, 25 Nov. 2023 LeBron can post shady stuff on Instagram about Brooks and seem like a normal man subject to the slings and arrows of a jerk by comparison. Corbin Smith, Rolling Stone, 24 Oct. 2023 Williams and Bernal aren’t focused on making a dramatized ESPN-friendly narrative or a melodrama about a gay man suffering the slings and arrows of intolerance. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 21 Sep. 2023 The governor's allies insist the verbal slings and arrows don't faze him, invoking some of the same culture warrior vocabulary that first catapulted him into the GOP spotlight. Will McDuffie, ABC News, 16 Aug. 2023 Joan has suffered the usual slings and arrows of academic misogyny—decades serving the department in thankless, feminized ways; never getting to go up for tenure—but reaches her limit when she is relegated to a shabby office in the basement of the athletics building. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, 3 Sep. 2021

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

Word History


from the phrase "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" in Shakespeare's Hamlet

First Known Use

1963, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of slings and arrows was in 1963

Dictionary Entries Near slings and arrows

Cite this Entry

“Slings and arrows.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!