use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

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:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

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.

open-icon

OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

Share your ideas for new words and new meanings of old words!

Start Sharing Now!

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

shot 1 (shŏt)
Share:
n.
1. The firing or discharge of a weapon, such as a gun.
2. The distance over which something is shot; the range.
3.
a. An attempt to hit a target with a projectile: His shot at the bear missed by inches.
b. An attempt to reach a target with a rocket: a moon shot.
4. Sports & Games
a. An attempt to score into a goal, as in soccer or hockey.
b. The flight or path of a projectile in a game.
c. A sharply hit or driven ball or puck.
d. A stroke in a game, as in golf or billiards: took three shots to get out of the sand trap.
5. A pointed or critical remark.
6. Informal
a. An attempt; a try: took a shot at losing weight.
b. An opportunity: gave him a fair shot at the part in the play.
c. A chance at odds; something to bet on: The horse was a four-to-one shot.
7.
a. A solid projectile designed to be discharged from a firearm or cannon.
b. pl. shot Such projectiles, especially when fired in clusters, considered as a group.
c. pl. shot Tiny lead or steel pellets, especially ones used in a shotgun cartridge.
d. One of these pellets.
8. Sports The heavy metal ball that is put for distance in the shot put.
9. One who shoots in a particular way: a good shot with the rifle and the bow.
10.
a. A charge of explosives used in blasting mine shafts.
b. A detonation of an explosive charge.
11.
a. A photograph taken of a particular subject: got a good shot of that last model.
b. A single continuous recording made with a movie camera.
12.
a. A hypodermic injection.
b. A small amount given or applied at one time: a shot of oxygen.
13.
a. A small amount of liquor, usually between 1 and 1 ½ ounces: got out the vodka and measured two shots into the glass.
b. A small drink: sipped a shot of bourbon; drank a shot of espresso.
c. A small amount of a liquid used as an ingredient in a beverage: prepared a smoothie with a shot of wheatgrass.
14. An amount to be paid, as for drinks; a bill.
15. Nautical A length of chain equal to 15 fathoms (90 feet).
tr.v. shot·ted, shot·ting, shots
To load or weight with shot.
Idioms:
like a shot
Very quickly.
shot in the arm Informal
Something that boosts one's spirits.
shot in the dark Informal
1. A guess.
2. An attempt that has little chance of succeeding.

[Middle English, from Old English sceot, scot; see skeud- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
shot 2 (shŏt)
Share:
v.
Past tense and past participle of shoot.
adj.
1.
a. Of changeable or variegated color; iridescent.
b. Streaked or flecked with or as if with yarn of a different color: a blue suit shot with purple; a forest glade that was shot with sunlight.
c. Interspersed or permeated with a distinctive quality: Her apology was shot with irony.
2. Informal
a. Worn-out; ruined.
b. Exhausted; thoroughly tired.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.