• synonyms

big shot

See more synonyms for big shot on Thesaurus.com
noun Informal.
  1. an important or influential person.
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Origin of big shot

First recorded in 1905–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for big shot

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Somebody kicked Fanshaw—the Jolly Lad big-shot—in the belly.

    The Planet Strappers

    Raymond Zinke Gallun

  • It must be kind of a pain in the ass to be a big-shot investigative reporter.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

British Dictionary definitions for big shot

big shot

  1. informal an important or influential person
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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

Word Origin and History for big shot


"important person," 1929, American English, from Prohibition-era gangster slang; earlier in the same sense was great shot (1861). Ultimately a reference to large type of gunshot.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with big shot

big shot

see under big cheese.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.