or shoot-down



the attack and destruction of an aircraft in flight.
the shooting and killing of someone in cold blood.

Nearby words

  1. shoot-em-up,
  2. shoot-off,
  3. shoot-out,
  4. shoot-up,
  5. shootaround,
  6. shooter,
  7. shootie,
  8. shooting,
  9. shooting box,
  10. shooting brake



verb (used with object), shot, shoot·ing.

to hit, wound, damage, kill, or destroy with a missile discharged from a weapon.
to execute or put to death with a bullet: to be shot at sunrise.
to send forth or discharge (a missile) from a weapon: to shoot a bullet.
to discharge (a weapon): to shoot a gun.
to send forth (words, ideas, etc.) rapidly: to shoot questions at someone.
to fling; propel: The volcano shot lava high into the air.
to direct suddenly or swiftly: Shoot the spotlight on the doorway. He shot a smile at his wife.
to move suddenly; send swiftly along.
to go over (country) in hunting game.
to pass rapidly through, over, down, etc.: to shoot rapids.
to emit (a ray or rays, as of light) suddenly, briefly, or intermittently.
to variegate by threads, streaks, etc., of another color.
to cause to extend or project: He shot out his arm and grabbed the ball.
to discharge or empty, as down a chute: Do not shoot rubbish here!
  1. to throw, kick, or otherwise propel (a ball, puck, etc.), as at a goal or teammate.
  2. to score (a goal, points, etc.) by propelling the ball, puck, etc.
Games. to propel (a marble) from the crook or first knuckle of the forefinger by flicking with the thumb.
(in dice games)
  1. to throw (the dice or a specific number).
  2. to wager or offer to bet (a sum of money): I'll shoot ten bucks.
Photography. to photograph or film.
to put forth (buds, branches, etc.), as a plant.
to slide (a bolt or the like) into or out of its fastening.
to pull (one's cuffs) abruptly toward one's hands.
Golf. to make a final score of (so many strokes): He shot a 73 on the first 18 holes of the tournament.
to take the altitude of (a heavenly body): to shoot the sun.
to detonate; cause to explode, as a charge of explosives.
Aeronautics. to practice (a maneuver) by repetition: to shoot landings.
Slang. to inject (an addictive drug) intravenously.

verb (used without object), shot, shoot·ing.

to send forth missiles from a bow, firearm, or the like.
to be discharged, as a firearm.
to hunt with a gun for sport: He fishes, but he doesn't shoot.
to move or pass suddenly or swiftly; spurt: The car shot ahead and was soon out of sight.
Nautical. to acquire momentum and coast into the wind, as a sailboat in a confined area.
to grow forth from the ground, as a stem.
to put forth buds or shoots, as a plant; germinate.
Photography. to photograph.
Movies. to film or begin to film a scene or movie.
to extend; jut: a cape shooting out into the sea.
Sports, Games.
  1. to propel a ball, puck, etc., at a goal, basket, pocket, etc., or in a specific direction: He shot for the green with a five iron.
  2. to propel a ball in a specific way: The center shoots left-handed.
to be felt by or flow through or permeate the body: Pain shot through his injured arm. Chills shot up and down her spine.
to carry by force of discharge or momentum: The missile left its pad and shot thousands of miles into space.
Informal. to begin, especially to begin to talk: I want to hear your complaint, so shoot!


the act of shooting with a bow, firearm, etc.
Chiefly British. a hunting trip or expedition.
a match or contest at shooting.
a growing or sprouting, as of a plant.
a new or young growth that shoots off from some portion of a plant.
the amount of such growth.
a young branch, stem, twig, or the like.
a sprout that is not three feet high.
a chute.
Rocketry. the launching of a missile.
Informal. a photographic assignment or session, as for a feature film or a television commercial: The actress is away on a shoot.
Rowing. the interval between strokes.
  1. a small tunnel branching off from a larger tunnel.
  2. a narrow vein of ore.

Verb Phrases

shoot down,
  1. to cause to fall by hitting with a shot: They shot down several ducks.
  2. disparage, reject, or expose as false or inadequate; debunk: to shoot down a popular theory.
shoot for/at, to attempt to obtain or accomplish; strive toward: He is shooting for a higher production level.
shoot up,
  1. to grow rapidly or suddenly.
  2. damage or harass by reckless shooting: cowboys shooting up the town.
  3. to wound by shooting: He shot up the lion, but his guide killed it.
  4. inject an addictive drug intravenously.

Origin of shoot

before 900; Middle English shoten (v.), Old English scēotan; cognate with Dutch schieten, German schiessen, Old Norse skjōta; akin to shot1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for shoot down

shoot down

verb (tr, adverb)

to shoot callously
to cause to fall to earth by hitting with a missile
to defeat or disprovehe shot down her argument


verb shoots, shooting or shot

(tr) to hit, wound, damage, or kill with a missile discharged from a weapon
to discharge (a missile or missiles) from a weapon
to fire (a weapon) or (of a weapon) to be fired
to send out or be sent out as if from a weaponhe shot questions at her
(intr) to move very rapidly; dart
(tr) to slide or push into or out of a fasteningto shoot a bolt
to emit (a ray of light) or (of a ray of light) to be emitted
(tr) to go or pass quickly over or throughto shoot rapids
(intr) to hunt game with a gun for sport
(tr) to pass over (an area) in hunting game
to extend or cause to extend; project
(tr) to discharge down or as if down a chute
(intr) (of a plant) to produce (buds, branches, etc)
(intr) (of a seed) to germinate
to photograph or record (a sequence, subject, etc)
(tr; usually passive) to variegate or streak, as with colour
sport to hit or propel (the ball, etc) towards the goal
(tr) sport, mainly US and Canadian to score (points, strokes, etc)he shot 72 on the first round
(tr) to plane (a board) to produce a straight edge
(tr) mining to detonate
(tr) to measure the altitude of (a celestial body)
(often foll by up) slang to inject (someone, esp oneself) with (a drug, esp heroin)
shoot a line See line 1 (def. 58)
shoot from the hip to speak bluntly or impulsively without concern for the consequences
shoot one's bolt See bolt 1 (def. 13)
shoot oneself in the foot informal to damage one's own cause inadvertently
shoot one's mouth off slang
  1. to talk indiscreetly
  2. to boast or exaggerate
shoot the breeze See breeze 1 (def. 5)


the act of shooting
the action or motion of something that is shot
the first aerial part of a plant to develop from a germinating seed
any new growth of a plant, such as a bud, young branch, etc
mainly British a meeting or party organized for hunting game with guns
an area or series of coverts and woods where game can be hunted with guns
a steep descent in a stream; rapid
informal a photographic assignment
geology mining a narrow workable vein of ore
obsolete the reach of a shot
the whole shoot slang everything


US and Canadian an exclamation expressing disbelief, scepticism, disgust, disappointment, etc

Word Origin for shoot

Old English sceōtan; related to Old Norse skjōta, Old High German skiozan to shoot, Old Slavonic iskydati to throw out

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 shoot down
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for shoot down



The part of a vascular plant that is above ground, including the stem and leaves. The tips of shoots contain the apical meristem.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with shoot down

shoot down


Ruin the aspirations of, disappoint, as in Bill was hoping Sharon would go out with him, but she shot him down.


Reject, defeat; also, expose as false. For example, It was the best idea I could come up with, but they unanimously shot it down, or It was inevitable that they would shoot down any claim made by the opposing candidate. This colloquial expression, which alludes to bringing down an aircraft or game bird by shooting, is sometimes intensified as shoot down in flames, originally (in World War I) referring to bringing down enemy aircraft but the late 1950s extended to decisively defeating anyone or anything.


In addition to the idioms beginning with shoot

  • shoot down
  • shoot for
  • shoot from the hip
  • shoot off one's mouth
  • shoot one's bolt
  • shoot oneself in the foot
  • shoot straight
  • shoot the breeze
  • shoot the works
  • shoot up

also see:

  • like shooting fish in a barrel
  • sure as shooting
  • whole ball of wax (shooting match)

Also see undershot.

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