[ shoot ]
See synonyms for: shootshootingshot on

verb (used with object),shot, shoot·ing.
  1. to hit, wound, damage, kill, or destroy with a missile discharged from a weapon.

  2. to execute or put to death with a bullet: to be shot at sunrise.

  1. to send forth or discharge (a missile) from a weapon: to shoot a bullet.

  2. to discharge (a weapon): to shoot a gun.

  3. to send forth (words, ideas, etc.) rapidly: to shoot questions at someone.

  4. to fling; propel: The volcano shot lava high into the air.

  5. to direct suddenly or swiftly: Shoot the spotlight on the doorway. He shot a smile at his wife.

  6. to move suddenly; send swiftly along.

  7. to go over (country) in hunting game.

  8. to pass rapidly through, over, down, etc.: to shoot rapids.

  9. to emit (a ray or rays, as of light) suddenly, briefly, or intermittently.

  10. to variegate by threads, streaks, etc., of another color.

  11. to cause to extend or project: He shot out his arm and grabbed the ball.

  12. to discharge or empty, as down a chute: Do not shoot rubbish here!

  13. Sports.

    • to throw, kick, or otherwise propel (a ball, puck, etc.), as at a goal or teammate.

    • to score (a goal, points, etc.) by propelling the ball, puck, etc.

  14. Games. to propel (a marble) from the crook or first knuckle of the forefinger by flicking with the thumb.

  15. (in dice games)

    • to throw (the dice or a specific number).

    • to wager or offer to bet (a sum of money): I'll shoot ten bucks.

  16. Photography. to photograph or film.

  17. to put forth (buds, branches, etc.), as a plant.

  18. to slide (a bolt or the like) into or out of its fastening.

  19. to pull (one's cuffs) abruptly toward one's hands.

  20. Golf. to make a final score of (so many strokes): He shot a 73 on the first 18 holes of the tournament.

  21. to take the altitude of (a heavenly body): to shoot the sun.

  22. to detonate; cause to explode, as a charge of explosives.

  23. Aeronautics. to practice (a maneuver) by repetition: to shoot landings.

  24. Slang. to inject (an addictive drug) intravenously.

verb (used without object),shot, shoot·ing.
  1. to send forth missiles from a bow, firearm, or the like.

  2. to be discharged, as a firearm.

  1. to hunt with a gun for sport: He fishes, but he doesn't shoot.

  2. to move or pass suddenly or swiftly; spurt: The car shot ahead and was soon out of sight.

  3. Nautical. to acquire momentum and coast into the wind, as a sailboat in a confined area.

  4. to grow forth from the ground, as a stem.

  5. to put forth buds or shoots, as a plant; germinate.

  6. Photography. to photograph.

  7. Movies. to film or begin to film a scene or movie.

  8. to extend; jut: a cape shooting out into the sea.

  9. Sports, Games.

    • 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.

    • to propel a ball in a specific way: The center shoots left-handed.

  10. to be felt by or flow through or permeate the body: Pain shot through his injured arm. Chills shot up and down her spine.

  11. to carry by force of discharge or momentum: The missile left its pad and shot thousands of miles into space.

  12. Informal. to begin, especially to begin to talk: I want to hear your complaint, so shoot!

  1. the act of shooting with a bow, firearm, etc.

  2. Chiefly British. a hunting trip or expedition.

  1. a match or contest at shooting.

  2. a growing or sprouting, as of a plant.

  3. a new or young growth that shoots off from some portion of a plant.

  4. the amount of such growth.

  5. a young branch, stem, twig, or the like.

  6. a sprout that is not three feet high.

  7. a chute.

  8. Rocketry. the launching of a missile.

  9. Informal. a photographic assignment or session, as for a feature film or a television commercial: The actress is away on a shoot.

  10. Rowing. the interval between strokes.

  11. Mining.

    • a small tunnel branching off from a larger tunnel.

    • a narrow vein of ore.

Verb Phrases
  1. shoot down,

    • to cause to fall by hitting with a shot: They shot down several ducks.

    • Informal. to disparage, reject, or expose as false or inadequate; debunk: to shoot down a popular theory.

  2. shoot for / at to attempt to obtain or accomplish; strive toward: He is shooting for a higher production level.

  1. shoot up,

    • to grow rapidly or suddenly.

    • Informal. to damage or harass by reckless shooting: cowboys shooting up the town.

    • to wound by shooting: He shot up the lion, but his guide killed it.

    • Slang. to inject an addictive drug intravenously.

Idioms about shoot

  1. shoot from the hip, to act or speak without due consideration or deliberation.

  2. shoot off one's mouth / face, Slang.

    • to talk indiscreetly, especially to reveal confidences, make thoughtless remarks, etc.

    • to exaggerate: He likes to shoot off his mouth about what a great guy he is.

  1. shoot one's bolt. Informal. bolt1 (def. 29).

  2. shoot one's wad. Informal. wad1 (def. 13).

  3. shoot the breeze. Slang. breeze1 (def. 11).

  4. shoot the bull. Slang. bull2 (def. 2).

  5. shoot the works. Slang. work (def. 55).

Origin of shoot

First recorded before 900; Middle English verb sheten, sheeten, shoten, Old English scēotan; cognate with Old Frisian skiata, Dutch schieten, Old High German skiozan, German schiessen, Old Norse skjōta; akin to shot1

Other words for shoot

Other definitions for shoot (2 of 2)

[ shoot ]

  1. (used to express irritation or astonishment.)

Origin of shoot

An Americanism first recorded in 1890–95; alteration of shit, conformed to shoot1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use shoot in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for shoot


/ (ʃuːt) /

verbshoots, shooting or shot
  1. (tr) to hit, wound, damage, or kill with a missile discharged from a weapon

  2. to discharge (a missile or missiles) from a weapon

  1. to fire (a weapon) or (of a weapon) to be fired

  2. to send out or be sent out as if from a weapon: he shot questions at her

  3. (intr) to move very rapidly; dart

  4. (tr) to slide or push into or out of a fastening: to shoot a bolt

  5. to emit (a ray of light) or (of a ray of light) to be emitted

  6. (tr) to go or pass quickly over or through: to shoot rapids

  7. (intr) to hunt game with a gun for sport

  8. (tr) to pass over (an area) in hunting game

  9. to extend or cause to extend; project

  10. (tr) to discharge down or as if down a chute

  11. (intr) (of a plant) to produce (buds, branches, etc)

  12. (intr) (of a seed) to germinate

  13. to photograph or record (a sequence, subject, etc)

  14. (tr; usually passive) to variegate or streak, as with colour

  15. sport to hit or propel (the ball, etc) towards the goal

  16. (tr) sport, mainly US and Canadian to score (points, strokes, etc): he shot 72 on the first round

  17. (tr) to plane (a board) to produce a straight edge

  18. (tr) mining to detonate

  19. (tr) to measure the altitude of (a celestial body)

  20. (often foll by up) slang to inject (someone, esp oneself) with (a drug, esp heroin)

  21. shoot a line See line 1 (def. 58)

  22. shoot from the hip to speak bluntly or impulsively without concern for the consequences

  23. shoot one's bolt See bolt 1 (def. 13)

  24. shoot oneself in the foot informal to damage one's own cause inadvertently

  25. shoot one's mouth off slang

    • to talk indiscreetly

    • to boast or exaggerate

  26. shoot the breeze See breeze 1 (def. 5)

  1. the act of shooting

  2. the action or motion of something that is shot

  1. the first aerial part of a plant to develop from a germinating seed

  2. any new growth of a plant, such as a bud, young branch, etc

  3. mainly British a meeting or party organized for hunting game with guns

  4. an area or series of coverts and woods where game can be hunted with guns

  5. a steep descent in a stream; rapid

  6. informal a photographic assignment

  7. geology mining a narrow workable vein of ore

  8. obsolete the reach of a shot

  9. the whole shoot slang everything

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

Origin of 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

Scientific definitions for shoot


[ shōōt ]

  1. 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.

Other Idioms and Phrases with shoot


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.