a covert, unsportsmanlike, and illegal act of deliberate roughness, especially in football, often calculated to injure an opponent.
any mean or unsportsmanlike remark or action, especially one directed at a defenseless or vulnerable person.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use cheap shot in a sentence
If the referee issues a two-minute or five-minute penalty for a cheap shot or a hit to the head, and the other team’s players don’t think that it’s enough, they’ll settle it.It’s ‘The Code’ of the NHL, and it has no cure for stupid | Ken Dryden | May 27, 2021 | Washington Post
Does making fun of a large bandage on a forehead count as a political cheap shot?
First, the cheap shot threats that might have intimidated other victims and their lawyers don't faze me.
If you try it, it usually gets penciled or frowned out of existence by one editor or another as a cheap shot.
"More likely on the gun," said Jean, for we had included a cheap shot-gun among the articles considered indispensable.Neighbours | Robert Stead
Other Idioms and Phrases with cheap shot
An unfair or unsporting verbal attack, as in You called him an amateur? That's really taking a cheap shot. The term originated in sports, especially American football, where it signifies deliberate roughness against an unprepared opponent. [Slang; second half of 1900s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.