- a smoothbore gun for firing small shots to kill birds and small quadrupeds, though often used with buckshot to kill larger animals.
- Football. an offensive formation, designed primarily for passing situations, in which the backfield is spread out with the quarterback positioned a few yards behind the center and the other backs, as potential pass receivers, positioned as slotbacks or flankers.
- of, pertaining to, used in, or carried out with a shotgun: a shotgun murder; shotgun pellets.
- covering a wide area in an irregularly effective manner without concern for details or particulars; tending to be all-inclusive, nonselective, and haphazard; indiscriminate in choice and indifferent to specific results: He favored the shotgun approach in his political attacks.
- seeking a desired result through the use or inclusion of a wide variety of elements.
- having all the rooms opening one into the next in a line from front to back: shotgun apartment; shotgun cottage.
- gained or characterized by coercive methods.
- to fire a shotgun at.
- ride shotgun,
- (formerly) to ride atop a stagecoach as a shotgun-bearing guard.
- to protect or keep a watchful eye on something: riding shotgun over the nation's economy.
Origin of shotgun
Examples from the Web for shotgun
This reporter knocked at the Wilkins home on Tuesday morning but received neither an answer nor the business end of a shotgun.The 7-Year-Old Plane Crash Survivor’s Brutal Journey Through the Woods
January 7, 2015
Abarca blasted him in the face and the chest with a shotgun.Mexico’s First Lady of Murder Is on the Lam
October 29, 2014
Despite the confusion on terminology, Grimes does appear to exercise solid technique with her shotgun.Alison Lundergan Grimes’s New TV Ad Is One Big Gun Gaffe
September 16, 2014
The ex-wife was accused of no wrongdoing, especially after she produced a shotgun that she said also belonged to Morgan.The Mystery of Donald Ray Morgan, the 44-Year-Old American Who Loved ISIS
August 12, 2014
The gunman threw out the key to a van that he said was parked nearby with a shotgun inside that was in fact recovered.Brooklyn Shooting Hits Close to Bill de Blasio’s Park Slope Home
July 1, 2014
One of them had a shotgun and others were armed with forks and rakes.
The men backed away, the farmer let the shotgun drop to the ground.
A feather-duster seemed a more fitting weapon than a shotgun.Fair Harbor
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
It's for this shotgun speshulist to give the route agents an argyooment.Faro Nell and Her Friends
Alfred Henry Lewis
He left his shotgun where it had fallen; the distance was too great for it.When the West Was Young
Frederick R. Bechdolt
- a shoulder firearm with unrifled bore designed for the discharge of small shot at short range and used mainly for hunting small game
- (as modifier)shotgun fire
- American football an offensive formation in which the quarterback lines up for a snap unusually far behind the line of scrimmage
- mainly US involving coercion or duressa shotgun merger
- mainly US involving or relying on speculative suggestions, etca shotgun therapy
- (tr) US to shoot or threaten with or as if with a shotgun
Word Origin and History for shotgun
Idioms and Phrases with shotgun
In addition to the idiom beginning with shotgun
, also see