a shot fired at game merely for food, with little regard to skill or the rules of sport.
a shot at an animal or person within easy range, as from ambush.
a casual or aimless shot.
a random or incidental criticism: to take a potshot at military spending in a speech on taxation.

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

to fire or aim potshots: critics potshotting at the administration.

Origin of potshot

First recorded in 1855–60; pot1 + shot1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for potshot

obloquy, animadversion, aspersion, slur, stricture, swipe, slap, jab

Examples from the Web for potshot

Contemporary Examples of potshot

  • Palin takes a potshot back in the book, mentioning Schmidt's "rotund physique."

    The Daily Beast logo
    Top 15 Palin Book Leaks

    The Daily Beast

    November 14, 2009

Historical Examples of potshot

Word Origin and History for potshot

also pot-shot, 1836, "shot taken at animal simply to 'get it in the pot,' not for sport or marksmanship;" from pot (n.1) + shot (n.). Extended sense of "opportunistic criticism" first recorded 1926. Cf. pot-hunter "one who shoots whatever he finds; one who kills for food not for sport."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper