long shot

  1. a horse, team, etc., that has little chance of winning and carries long odds.
  2. an attempt or undertaking that offers much but in which there is little chance for success.
  3. Movies, Television. a camera shot taken at a relatively great distance from the subject and permitting a broad view of a scene.Compare closeup(def 2), medium shot.
  1. by a long shot, by any means; by a measurable degree: They haven't finished by a long shot.

Origin of long shot

First recorded in 1785–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for by a long shot

long shot

  1. a competitor, as in a race, considered to be unlikely to win
  2. a bet against heavy odds
  3. an undertaking, guess, or possibility with little chance of success
  4. films television a shot where the camera is or appears to be distant from the object to be photographed
  5. by a long shot by any meanshe still hasn't finished by a long shot
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 by a long shot

long shot


in the figurative sense of "something unlikely," 1867, from long (adj.) + shot (n.). The notion is of a shot at a target from a great distance, thus difficult to make. Cinematic sense is from 1922.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with by a long shot

by a long shot

see under long shot.

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