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[shahrp-shoo-ter] /ˈʃɑrpˌʃu tər/
a person skilled in shooting, especially with a rifle.
  1. a rating below expert and above marksman, assigned to one who has qualified with a specific score in rifle marksmanship.
  2. a person who has achieved such a rating.
an athlete noted for having accurate aim in a sport, as basketball, hockey, archery, golf, etc.
Slang. a person who engages in short-term business dealings with the purpose of making a large, quick profit without regard to scruple.
a spade that has a very narrow blade, used as a garden or nursery tool.
Origin of sharpshooter
1795-1805; sharp (i.e., sharp-eyed) + shooter; compare German Scharfschütz(e) expert marksman
Related forms
sharpshooting, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sharpshooter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The sharpshooter flashed his gold teeth at him in a cheerful smile.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
  • "He's had your goat ever since the meeting opened," grinned the sharpshooter.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
  • This by way of reminding the sharpshooter of something which he preferred to forget.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
  • "No-o," said The sharpshooter, his lips pursed and his brow wrinkled.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
  • He was killed by a bullet from the gun of a sharpshooter in Middletown.

    Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman J. H. (James Harvey) Kidd
  • We'll blow that sharpshooter where he can look out of window sure enough!

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • Reed has been watching me like a sharpshooter from the day I arrived.

    The Loyalist James Francis Barrett
  • He thought a sharpshooter was there, and he laid his plans to get him.

British Dictionary definitions for sharpshooter


an expert marksman, esp with a rifle
Derived Forms
sharpshooting, noun
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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Word Origin and History for sharpshooter

also sharp-shooter, 1802; see sharp (adj.) + shoot (v.). A translation of German Scharfschütze, from scharf (adj.) "sharp" + schütze "shooter," from schießen "to shoot." Related: Sharpshooting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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