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2017 Word of the Year

shot heard round the world

shot heard round the world in Culture

shot heard round the world definition


A phrase from a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson about the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Emerson's words read, “Here once the embattled farmers stood / And fired the shot heard round the world.” In other words, the determination of the colonists at Concord led to the establishment of a new nation on Earth and encouraged worldwide movements toward democracy.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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