v. shot (shŏt), shoot·ing, shoots
a. To hit, wound, or kill with a missile fired from a weapon.
b. To remove or destroy by firing or projecting a missile: shot out the window.
c. To make (a hole, for example) by firing a weapon.
2. To fire or let fly (a missile) from a weapon.
a. To discharge (a weapon).
b. To detonate or cause to explode: shot off a firecracker.
4. To inject (a drug, for example) with a hypodermic syringe.
5. To throw out or release (a fishing line, for example).
a. To send forth suddenly, intensely, or swiftly: The burning building shot sparks onto the adjacent roof. He shot an angry look at me.
b. To emit (a ray or rays of light or another form of energy).
c. To utter (sounds or words) forcefully, rapidly, or suddenly: She shot a retort to the insult.
d. Slang To give, send, or hand quickly: Shoot me that stapler.
7. Informal To spend, use up, or waste: They shot their savings on a new boat.
8. To pass over or through swiftly: shooting the rapids.
9. To cover (country) in hunting for game.
10. To record on film or video using a movie camera: shot the scene in one take.
11. To cause to project or protrude; extend: shot out her arm to prevent the bottle from falling.
12. To begin to grow or produce; put forth.
13. To pour, empty out, or discharge down or as if down a chute: shot gravel into the hole.
14. Sports & Games
a. To throw or propel (a ball, marble, or other projectile in a game) in a specific direction or toward the objective.
b. To accomplish (the objective) of a game involving a projectile; score (a point, basket, or goal).
c. To play (a game involving projectiles, such as golf or pool).
d. To attain (a given score) in golf.
e. To play (a game involving dice, especially craps).
f. To throw (the dice or a given score) in craps.
15. To slide (the bolt of a lock) into or out of its fastening.
16. To plane (the edge of a board) straight.
17. To variegate (colored cloth) by interweaving weft threads of a different color.
18. To measure the altitude of with a sextant or other instrument: shot the star.
1. To discharge a missile from a weapon.
2. To discharge or fire; go off.
a. To gush or spurt: Water shot out of the geyser.
b. To appear suddenly: The sun shot through a break in the clouds.
4. To move swiftly; dart.
5. To be felt moving or as if moving in the body: Pain shot through my lower leg.
6. To protrude; project: The headland shoots far out into the sea.
7. To engage in hunting or the firing of weapons, especially for sport: is shooting in Scotland during the fall.
8. To put forth new growth; germinate.
a. To take pictures.
b. To film a scene in a movie.
10. Sports & Games To propel a ball or other object toward the goal or in a specific direction or manner.
11. Games To throw dice.
12. Slang To begin talking. Often used in the imperative: I know you have something to tell me, so shoot!
13. To slide into or out of a fastening. Used of the bolt of a lock.
1. The motion or movement of something that is propelled, driven, or discharged.
a. The young growth arising from a germinating seed; a sprout.
b. A young leaf, flower, or other new growth on a plant.
c. The aboveground part of a vascular plant.
3. A narrow, swift, or turbulent section of a stream.
a. The act of discharging a weapon or letting fly a missile.
b. Informal The launching of a rocket or similar missile.
a. An organized shooting activity, such as a skeet tournament or hunt.
b. A round of shots in a contest with firearms.
6. A session in which something is photographed, filmed, or videotaped.
7. The distance a shot travels; the range.
8. A sharp twinge or spasm of pain.
9. An inclined channel for moving something; a chute.
10. A body of ore in a vein.
Used to express surprise, mild annoyance, or disappointment.
1. To bring down (an aircraft, for example) by hitting and damaging with gunfire or a missile.
2. Informal To ruin the aspirations of; disappoint.
a. To put an end to; defeat: shot down the proposal.
b. To expose as false; discredit: shot down his theory.
Informal To strive or aim for; have as a goal.
1. Informal To grow or get taller rapidly.
2. To increase dramatically in amount.
3. To riddle with bullets.
4. To damage or terrorize (a town, for example) by intense or random gunfire.
5. Slang To inject a drug with a hypodermic syringe.
shoot from the hip Slang
To act or speak on a matter without forethought.
shoot off (one's) mouth/face Slang
1. To speak indiscreetly.
2. To brag; boast.
shoot (one's) bolt Slang
To do all within one's power; exhaust all of one's resources or capabilities.
shoot (one's) wad
a. To spend all of one's cash.
b. To use up all of one's energy or resources.
2. Vulgar Slang To ejaculate.
shoot (oneself) in the foot
To do or say something that inadvertently undermines one's interests.
To talk or deal honestly.
shoot the breeze/bull Slang
To spend time talking in an idle manner; talk idly.
shoot the shit Vulgar Slang
To talk idly.
shoot the works Informal
To expend all of one's efforts or capital.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.