Football. an offensive formation, designed primarily for passing situations, in which the backfield is spread out with the quarterback positioned a few yards behind the center and the other backs, as potential pass receivers, positioned as slotbacks or flankers.
of, pertaining to, used in, or carried out with a shotgun: a shotgun murder;shotgun pellets.
covering a wide area in an irregularly effective manner without concern for details or particulars; tending to be all-inclusive, nonselective, and haphazard; indiscriminate in choice and indifferent to specific results: He favored the shotgun approach in his political attacks.
seeking a desired result through the use or inclusion of a wide variety of elements.
having all the rooms opening one into the next in a line from front to back: shotgun apartment;shotgun cottage.
gained or characterized by coercive methods.
to fire a shotgun at.
Slang. to drink (something, especially a beer) quickly, by puncturing a hole in the bottom of a can, placing one's mouth over the hole, and then opening the top of the can slightly, causing the liquid to drain down one's throat: I saw him shotgun a beer at the party last night.
Idioms about shotgun
call shotgun, to preemptively claim the privilege of sitting in the front passenger seat of a vehicle: When I was a kid, calling shotgun was an important part of the drive to school.
to ride in the front passenger seat of a car:The ride-along program lets you ride shotgun in a racing car with a professional driver.
to protect or keep a watchful eye on something: The treasurer is riding shotgun over the nation's economy.
(formerly) to ride atop a stagecoach as a shotgun-bearing guard.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use shotgun in a sentence
The only guns allowed are shotguns, guns for research purposes and guns for competition.Does Restricting Access to Guns Reduce Gun Violence? | Truthbetold | December 14, 2020 | TruthBeTold.news
An officer fired his shotgun once, shattering the hand in which she was holding the knife.It Wasn’t the First Time the NYPD Killed Someone in Crisis. For Kawaski Trawick, It Only Took 112 Seconds. | by Eric Umansky | December 4, 2020 | ProPublica
During the night of the storm, residents recalled hearing “shotgun-like” snapping of tree limbs, with many limbs crashing down on roofs.Ice storms: Inside wintertime’s dreaded, frozen mess | Jeffrey Halverson | December 2, 2020 | Washington Post
The Ravens, who have lost two of three games, may also use Lamar Jackson less frequently in the shotgun after having issues with snaps last week.AFC South thrives and the Steelers stay unbeaten in NFL Week 11 | Cindy Boren, Mark Maske, Des Bieler | November 23, 2020 | Washington Post
Officers were looking for anything related to the shooting in Portland, Brady said, and recovered a shotgun bag.New Eyewitness Accounts: Feds Didn’t Identify Themselves Before Opening Fire on Portland Antifa Suspect | by Bryan Denson for ProPublica and Conrad Wilson, Oregon Public Broadcasting | October 13, 2020 | ProPublica
This reporter knocked at the Wilkins home on Tuesday morning but received neither an answer nor the business end of a shotgun.The 7-Year-Old Plane Crash Survivor’s Brutal Journey Through the Woods | James Higdon | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Abarca blasted him in the face and the chest with a shotgun.
Despite the confusion on terminology, Grimes does appear to exercise solid technique with her shotgun.Alison Lundergan Grimes’s New TV Ad Is One Big Gun Gaffe | Tim Mak | September 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The ex-wife was accused of no wrongdoing, especially after she produced a shotgun that she said also belonged to Morgan.The Mystery of Donald Ray Morgan, the 44-Year-Old American Who Loved ISIS | Michael Daly | August 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In the Middle East, a cheetah riding shotgun in the plush leather seat of a luxury sports car is the ultimate status symbol.
Then suddenly he would shift shotgun for rifle and come home with a bearskin in the wagon.Scattergood Baines | Clarence Budington Kelland
The Whitmore double-barrel breech-loading shotgun was designed, and later developed into the Remington breech-loading shotgun.The Wonder Book of Knowledge | Various
He said he reckoned a body could reform the old man with a shotgun, maybe, but he didn't know no other way.Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Complete | Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Hale put young Dave on a horse and the little shotgun cavalcade quietly moved away toward the county-seat.The Trail of the Lonesome Pine | John Fox, Jr.
He merely leaned his shotgun against his thigh, reached around beneath his coat and produced a forty-five caliber revolver.Average Jones | Samuel Hopkins Adams
British Dictionary definitions for shotgun
a shoulder firearm with unrifled bore designed for the discharge of small shot at short range and used mainly for hunting small game
(as modifier): shotgun fire
American football an offensive formation in which the quarterback lines up for a snap unusually far behind the line of scrimmage
mainly US involving coercion or duress: a shotgun merger
mainly US involving or relying on speculative suggestions, etc: a shotgun therapy
(tr) US to shoot or threaten with or as if with a shotgun
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with shotgun
In addition to the idiom beginning with shotgun
, also see
- ride shotgun
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.