American English

Definition of shoot verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they shoot
    he / she / it shoots
    past simple shot
    -ing form shooting
    jump to other results
  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to fire a gun or other weapon; to fire something from a weapon Don't shoot—I surrender. a serious shooting incident shoot (something) (at somebody/something) troops shooting at the enemy The police rarely shoot to kill (= try to kill the people they shoot at). shoot something (from something) He shot an arrow from his bow. They shot the lock off (= removed it by shooting). Topic CollocationsWar and Peacestarting a war declare/wage war (on somebody/something) go to war (against/with somebody) cause/spark/provoke/foment/quell unrest incite/lead/crush/suppress a revolt/rebellion launch/mount/carry out a surprise/terrorist attack prevent/halt/represent an escalation of the conflict be torn apart by/be on the brink of civil war enter/invade/occupy somebody's territory lead/launch/resist/repel an invasionmilitary operations adopt/develop/implement/pursue a military strategy carry out/execute/perform military operations/maneuvers send/deploy/station/pull back/withdraw troops go on/fly/carry out a reconnaissance/rescue mission train/equip/deploy army/military/combat units lead/launch/conduct an (air/airborne/amphibious) attack/a surprise attack (on somebody); an assault/a raid (on somebody) employ/use guerrilla tactics conduct/wage biological/guerrilla warfare fight/crush/defeat the rebels/the insurgency suffer/inflict a crushing defeat achieve/win a decisive victory halt/stop the American/German advance order/force a retreatfighting join/serve in the Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines/Coast Guard/reserves be/go/remain/serve on active duty do/complete/return from a tour of duty be sent to the front (line) attack/strike/engage/defeat/kill/destroy the enemy witness/see/report/be engaged in heavy fighting call for/be met with armed resistance come under heavy/machine-gun/mortar fire fire a machine gun/mortar shells/rockets (at somebody/something) shoot a rifle/a pistol/bullets/missiles launch/fire a(n) cruise/ballistic/anti-tank missile use biological/chemical/nuclear weapons inflict/suffer/sustain heavy losses/casualties be hit/killed by enemy/friendly/artillery fire become/be held as/be taken as a prisoner of warcivilians in war harm/kill/target/protect innocent/unarmed civilians cause/avoid/limit/minimize civilian casualties/collateral damage impose/enforce/lift a curfew engage in/be a victim of ethnic cleansing be sent to a concentration/an internment camp accept/house/resettle/turn away refugees fleeing from war fear/threaten military/violent reprisals commit/be accused of war crimes/crimes against humanity/genocidemaking peace make/bring/win/achieve/maintain/promote peace call for/negotiate/broker/declare a ceasefire/a temporary truce sign a ceasefire agreement call for/bring/put an end to hostilities demand/negotiate/accept the surrender of somebody/something establish/send (in) a peacekeeping force negotiate/conclude/ratify/sign/accept/reject/break/violate a peace treaty
  2. 2[transitive] to kill or wound a person or an animal with a bullet, etc. shoot somebody/something/yourself A man was shot in the leg. He shot himself during an episode of depression. The guards were ordered to shoot on sight anyone trying to escape. shoot somebody/something + adj. Three people were shot dead during the robbery.
  3. 3[transitive, intransitive] shoot (something) (of a gun or other weapon) to fire bullets, etc. This is just a toy gun—it doesn't shoot real bullets.
  4. for sport
  5. 4[transitive, intransitive] shoot (something) to hunt and kill birds and animals with a gun as a sport to shoot pheasants They go shooting in Idaho.
  6. move quickly
  7. 5[intransitive, transitive] to move suddenly or quickly in one direction; to make someone or something move in this way + adv./prep. A plane shot across the sky. His hand shot out to grab her. Flames were shooting up through the roof. (figurative) The band's last single shot straight to number one on the charts. shoot something + adv./prep. He shot out his hand to grab her.
  8. of pain
  9. 6[intransitive] to move suddenly and quickly and be very sharp a shooting pain in the back + adv./prep. The pain shot up her arm.
  10. direct at someone
  11. 7[transitive, no passive] to direct something at someone suddenly or quickly shoot something at somebody Journalists were shooting questions at the candidates. She shot an angry glance at him. shoot somebody something She shot him an angry glance.
  12. movie/photograph
  13. 8[intransitive, transitive] to make a movie or photograph of something Cameras ready? OK, shoot! shoot something (+ adv./prep.) Where was the movie shot? The movie was shot in black and white.
  14. in sports
  15. 9[intransitive, transitive] (in basketball, hockey, soccer, etc.) to try to kick, hit, or throw the ball into a goal or to score a point shoot (at something) He should have shot instead of passing. shoot something After school we'd be on the driveway shooting baskets (= playing basketball).
  16. 10[transitive] shoot something (informal) (in golf) to make a particular score in a complete round or competition She shot a 75 in the first round.
  17. play game
  18. 11[transitive] shoot something to play particular games to shoot pool
  19. Idioms
    be like shooting fish in a barrel (informal)
    jump to other results
    used to emphasize how easy it is to do something What do you mean you can't do it? It'll be like shooting fish in a barrel!
    have shot your wad (informal)
    jump to other results
    to have used all your power, money, or supplies
    shoot the breeze/bull (informal)
    jump to other results
    to have a conversation in an informal way synonym chat We sat around in the bar, shooting the breeze.
    shoot from the hip
    jump to other results
    to react quickly without thinking carefully first
    shoot it out (with somebody) (informal)
    jump to other results
    to fight against someone with guns, especially until one side is killed or defeated The gang decided to shoot it out with the police. related noun shoot-out
    shoot the messenger
    jump to other results
    to blame the person who gives the news that something bad has happened, instead of the person who is really responsible Don't shoot the messenger!
      shoot your mouth off (about something) (informal)
      jump to other results
    1. 1to talk with too much pride about something
    2. 2to talk about something that is private or secret
    shoot the rapids
    jump to other results
    to go in a boat over part of a river where the water flows very fast
    shoot yourself in the foot (informal)
    jump to other results
    to do or say something that will cause you a lot of trouble or harm, especially when you are trying to get an advantage for yourself
    Phrasal Verbsshoot somebody/somethingdownshoot for somethingshoot somethingoffshoot upshoot somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: shoot