[ pot-shot ]
/ ˈpɒtˌʃɒt /


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.

Nearby words

  1. potosí,
  2. potpie,
  3. potpourri,
  4. potsdam,
  5. potsherd,
  6. potsticker,
  7. potstone,
  8. potsy,
  9. pott's abscess,
  10. pott's disease

Origin of potshot

First recorded in 1855–60; pot1 + shot1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for 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