[ shot-poot-er ]
/ ˈʃɒtˌpʊt ər /
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a participant in shot put.
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Origin of shot-putter

First recorded in 1880–85; shot put + -er1

OTHER WORDS FROM shot-putter

shot-putting, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is a shot-putter?

A shot-putter is an athlete who competes in shot put, a track-and-field competition in which competitors try to throw a heavy ball as far as they can. The term is often spelled without a hyphen, as shot putter.

In shot put, shot-putters have to put, or throw from the shoulder, a weighted ball called a shot. They must throw the shot using one hand (held above the shoulder) while standing inside a circle that is 7 feet (2 m) wide. The shot is 16 pounds for men and 8.8 pounds for women and is made of brass or iron.

The shot put is one of the “field” events in track and field, which also include other events in which objects are thrown as far as possible, namely discus and javelin. All three are events in the summer Olympic Games (the Summer Games) and are also events in the modern decathlon.

Example: I’m training as a shot-putter with my track-and-field team.

Where does shot-putter come from?

The first records of the term shot put come from the late 1800s, when the sport began gaining popularity in the U.K. The term shot-putter has been used since around the same time.

In shot put, the word shot refers to a ball-like projectile (based on the term referring to the metal balls fired from cannons and older firearms), while the word put specifically means “to throw or cast, especially with a forward motion of the hand when raised close to the shoulder.”

Contests involving throwing stones and other heavy objects as far as possible date back to ancient times. But, in the 1800s, British soldiers began throwing cannonballs as a part of their sports recreation, leading to the use of a weighted ball similar to a cannonball for the shot put. The event was introduced at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been included in every summer Olympics since. The women’s shot put event was added to the Olympics in 1948.

There are a variety of techniques used by shot-putters, but the most popular (and usually most effective) involves spinning in a circle before throwing. It was developed by Viktor Alexeyev, the coach of shot-putter Aleksandr Baryshnikov, who popularized the technique in the 1970s and used it in his world-record-setting throws. A similar method is used in discus.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to shot-putter?

  • shot putter (unhyphenated alternate spelling)
  • shot put (noun)

What are some words that share a root or word element with shot-putter

What are some words that often get used in discussing shot-putter?

How is shot-putter used in real life?

The term shot-putter is the common way to refer to a competitor in the shot put. Due to the heavy weight of the shot, shot-putters are known for their strength.

Try using shot-putter!

True or False? 

In shot put, shot-putters can throw the shot underhanded.

How to use shot-putter in a sentence