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Parthian shot

a sharp, telling remark, act, gesture, etc., made in departing.
Origin of Parthian shot
First recorded in 1900-05; so called from the ancient Parthian cavalry's habit of shooting arrows rearward at the enemy while in real or feigned flight Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Parthian shot
Historical Examples
  • With which Parthian shot Mrs Fred made her way up-stairs and retired from the field.

    The Doctor's Family Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant
  • With that Parthian shot I ordered my cocher, who was furtively grinning by this time, to drive on as quickly as possible.

    Set in Silver

    Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson
  • With which Parthian shot he walked away, leaving the two rivals open-mouthed behind him.

    A Study In Scarlet Arthur Conan Doyle
  • That Parthian shot of his, that in the end the Government would have to use his methods, is going home.

    Diplomatic Days Edith O'Shaughnessy
  • The throb in my finger returned for a Parthian shot and I remembered that I was a real patient!

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
  • A thrill of victory ran through her veins as she noted the effect of her Parthian shot.

    A Traitor's Wooing Headon Hill
British Dictionary definitions for Parthian shot

Parthian shot

another term for parting shot
Word Origin
alluding to the custom of Parthian archers who shot their arrows backwards while retreating
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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