noun, plural shots or for 6, 8, shot.

verb (used with object), shot·ted, shot·ting.

to load or supply with shot.
to weight with shot.

verb (used without object), shot·ted, shot·ting.

to manufacture shot, as in a shot tower.


    by a long shot. long shot(def 4).
    call one's shots, Informal. to indicate beforehand what one intends to do and how one intends to do it.
    call the shots, Informal. to have the power or authority to make decisions or control policy: Now that he's chairman of the board, he calls the shots.
    have/take a shot at, make an attempt at: I'll have a shot at solving the problem.
    like a shot, instantly; quickly: He bolted out of here like a shot.
    shot in the arm, Informal. something that results in renewed vigor, confidence, etc.; stimulus: Her recent promotion has given her a shot in the arm. The new members gave the club a shot in the arm.
    shot in the dark, Informal. a wild guess; a random conjecture.

Origin of shot

before 900; Middle English; Old English sc(e)ot, (ge)sceot; cognate with German Schoss, Geschoss; akin to shoot1
Related formsshot·less, adjectiveshot·like, adjective

Synonyms for shot

15. chance, go, essay. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for call one's shots




the act or an instance of discharging a projectile
plural shot a solid missile, such as an iron ball or a lead pellet, discharged from a firearm
  1. small round pellets of lead collectively, as used in cartridges
  2. metal in the form of coarse powder or small pellets
the distance that a discharged projectile travels or is capable of travelling
a person who shoots, esp with regard to his abilityhe is a good shot
informal an attempt; effort
informal a guess or conjecture
any act of throwing or hitting something, as in certain sports
the launching of a rocket, missile, etc, esp to a specified destinationa moon shot
  1. a single photographI took 16 shots of the wedding
  2. a series of frames on cine film concerned with a single event
  3. a length of film taken by a single camera without breaks, used with others to build up a full motion picture or television film
informal an injection, as of a vaccine or narcotic drug
informal a glass of alcoholic drink, esp spirits
sport a heavy metal ball used in the shot put
an explosive charge used in blasting
globules of metal occurring in the body of a casting that are harder than the rest of the casting
a unit of chain length equal to 75 feet (Brit) or 90 feet (US)
call the shots slang to have control over an organization, course of action, etc
have a shot at informal
  1. to attempt
  2. Australianto jibe at or vex
like a shot very quickly, esp willingly
shot in the arm informal anything that regenerates, increases confidence or efficiency, etchis arrival was a shot in the arm for the company
shot in the dark a wild guess
that's the shot Australian informal that is the right thing to do

verb shots, shotting or shotted

(tr) to weight or load with shot

Word Origin for shot

Old English scot; related to Old Norse skot, Old High German scoz missile; see shoot




the past tense and past participle of shoot


(of textiles) woven to give a changing colour effectshot silk
streaked with colour
slang exhausted
get shot of or get shut of slang to get rid of
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 call one's shots



Old English scot, sceot "a shot, a shooting, an act of shooting; that which is discharged in shooting, what is shot forth; darting, rapid motion," from Proto-Germanic *skutan (cf. Old Norse skutr, Old Frisian skete, Middle Dutch scote, German Schuß "a shot"), related to sceotan "to shoot" (see shoot (v.)).

Meaning "discharge of a bow, missile," also is from related Old English gesceot. Extended to other projectiles in Middle English, and to sports (hockey, basketball, etc.) 1868. Another original meaning, "payment" (perhaps literally "money thrown down") is preserved in scot-free. "Throwing down" might also have led to the meaning "a drink," first attested 1670s, the more precise meaning "small drink of straight liquor" by 1928 (shot glass by 1955). Camera view sense is from 1958. Sense of "hypodermic injection" first attested 1904; figurative phrase shot in the arm "stimulant" first recorded 1922. Meaning "try, attempt" is from 1756; sense of "remark meant to wound" is recorded from 1841. Meaning "an expert in shooting" is from 1780. To call the shots "control events, make decisions" is American English, 1922, perhaps from sport shooting. Shot in the dark "uninformed guess" is from 1885. Big shot "important person" is from 1861.



early 15c., past participle adjective from from shoot (v.). Meaning "wounded or killed by a bullet or other projectile" is from 1837. Figurative sense "ruined, worn out" is from 1833.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

call one's shots in Medicine




A hypodermic injection.
A small amount given or applied at one time.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with call one's shots


In addition to the idioms beginning with shot

  • shot in the arm, a
  • shot in the dark
  • shot to hell
  • shot up

also see:

  • big cheese (shot)
  • call the shots
  • cheap shot
  • give it one's best shot
  • have a crack (shot) at
  • like a shot
  • long shot
  • parting shot

Also see undershoot.

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