slings and arrows

plural noun

Definition of slings and arrows

: pointed often acerbic critical attacks has suffered the slings and arrows of detractors— Roland Gelatt

Examples of slings and arrows in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Djokovic has been the target of many slings and arrows in recent months. oregonlive, "Novak Djokovic, huge favorite at 2020 U.S. Open, is on unstoppable march to career Grand Slam record," 20 Aug. 2020 Reason can’t make sense of the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune, but humor—sometimes—can soften the blows. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "So Sad, Can’t Stop Laughing," 4 May 2020 Adams, who in 1797 succeeded Washington as the young nation’s chief executive, soon found himself on the receiving end of the slings and arrows. oregonlive, "Donald Trump is famous for his insults, but his invective doesn’t compare to Theodore Roosevelt’s, Oregon author argues," 31 Mar. 2020 Republicans in the House as well as the Senate closed ranks behind him, and there was little sign that the slings and arrows of Democrats did anything to hurt the president’s standing among his fervent supporters around the country. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Trump’s Impeachment Is Virtually Over. What Did It Change?," 1 Feb. 2020 Rask is paid $7 million to suffer the slings and arrows, no matter how outrageous the fortune. BostonGlobe.com, "Across the league, teams have allowed five or more goals about 20 percent of the time. In Boston, 6 percent. Once in 15 games. That was Tuesday, when Rask spit the bit in Montreal.," 7 Nov. 2019 Ideally, home and family should be a safe harbor from the slings and arrows of the rest of the world. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Judgmental mom is just sure her frumpy daughter will never catch a man," 1 Nov. 2019 Zellweger doesn’t naturally look or sound like Garland, but her empathy, which perhaps comes from her being no stranger to Hollywood’s slings and arrows, makes her Judy sing. Amy Nicholson, Town & Country, "Renée Zellweger Has Been Preparing to Play Judy Garland Since She Was a Kid," 25 Sep. 2019 Tua Tagovailoa has heard it all in recent months, absorbing the slings and arrows one year after experiencing outrageous fortune. Rainer Sabin | Rsabin@al.com, al.com, "Why Tua Tagovailoa feels ‘glad’ he experienced Clemson loss," 17 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slings and arrows.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of slings and arrows

1963, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for slings and arrows

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about slings and arrows

Time Traveler for slings and arrows

Time Traveler

The first known use of slings and arrows was in 1963

See more words from the same year

Statistics for slings and arrows

Last Updated

31 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Slings and arrows.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slings%20and%20arrows. Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

Comments on slings and arrows

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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