highly successful and aggressive: a hotshot lawyer; a hotshot account exec.
displaying skill flamboyantly: a hotshot ballplayer.
moving, going, or operating without a stop; fast: a hotshot express.

noun Also hot shot (for defs 4, 6).

an impressively successful or skillful and often vain person.
Railroads. an express freight train.
a firefighter.

Origin of hotshot

First recorded in 1595–1605; hot + shot1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hotshot

Contemporary Examples of hotshot

  • But, the hotshot billionaire may have some secrets of his own.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Business Longreads

    William O’Connor

    November 3, 2013

  • Whip is a hotshot, sauced-up captain whose substance-abuse habit crash-lands him, quite literally, into a whole heap of trouble.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Real Pilots Laugh at ‘Flight’

    Patrick Smith

    November 18, 2012

  • Only Diana was canny enough to hire a hotshot divorce lawyer and extract an unprecedented £17 million settlement.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Fergie's Latest Flameout

    Tina Brown

    May 25, 2010

British Dictionary definitions for hotshot



informal an important person or expert, esp when showy
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 hotshot

"important person," 1933; see hot + shot (n.). It earlier meant "fast train" (1925), and "reckless person" (c.1600).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper