Meaning of “shoot” in the English Dictionary

"shoot" in English

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uk /ʃuːt/ us /ʃuːt/ shot, shot

shoot verb (WEAPON)

B1 [ I or T ] to fire a bullet or an arrow, or to hit, injure, or kill a person or animal by firing a bullet or arrow at him, her, or it:

If he's not armed, don't shoot.
The kids were shooting arrows at a target.
She was shot three times in the head.
He has a licence to shoot pheasants on the farmer's land.
[ + obj + adj ] A policeman was shot deadin the city centre last night.
The troops were told to shoot to kill.

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shoot verb (SPORT)

B1 [ I ] to try to score points for yourself or your team, in sports involving a ball, by kicking, hitting, or throwing the ball towards the goal:

He shot from the middle of the field and still managed to score.
shoot baskets/hoops US informal

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shoot verb (MOVE QUICKLY)

C2 [ I usually + adv/prep ] to move in a particular direction very quickly and directly:

She shot past me several metres before the finishing line.
He shot out of the office a minute ago - I think he was late for a meeting.
They were just shooting off to work so we didn't stop to talk.
Sylvester Stallone shot to fame (= became famous suddenly) with the movie "Rocky".

[ T ] to move through or past something quickly:

informal He shot three sets of traffic lights (= went past them when they gave the signal to stop) before the police caught him.
It was so exhilarating shooting the rapids (= travelling through the part of a river where the water flows dangerously fast).

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shoot verb (FILM)

C1 [ I or T ] to use a camera to record a video or take a photograph:

We shot four reels of film in Egypt.
The movie was shot on location in Southern India.

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shoot verb (DRUG)

[ T ] slang to take an illegal drug by injecting yourself with it:

By the time he was 16, he was shooting heroin twice a day.


uk /ʃuːt/ us /ʃuːt/


uk /ʃuːt/ us /ʃuːt/ informal

(Definition of “shoot” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"shoot" in American English

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us /ʃut/ past tense and past participle shot /ʃɑt/

shoot verb (FIRE WEAPON)

[ I/T ] to fire a gun or other weapon, or to hit, injure, or kill someone or something by firing a gun or other weapon:

[ I ] We’d take our bows and arrows and shoot at targets.
[ T ] A long time ago the sergeant learned how to shoot a gun.

[ I/T ] infml If you say that someone or something should be shot, you are very annoyed by it:

[ T ] This computer should be shot.

shoot verb (SPORTS)

[ I/T ] to throw, hit, or kick a ball or other object toward a goal in order to score points:

[ T ] Both teams shoot the ball well.
[ I ] When you shoot as poorly as we did, you can’t expect to win.
shoot baskets also shoot hoops slang

If you shoot baskets or shoot hoops you play basketball.

shoot pool slang

If you shoot pool you play that game:

Patrick and I were shooting pool after work.

shoot verb (MOVE QUICKLY)

[ I always + adv/prep ] to move in a particular direction quickly and without unnecessary turns or stops:

The ambulance was shooting around the corner, its tires squealing.
Grace’s eyebrows shot up when she heard his voice.

shoot verb (FILM)

[ I/T ] to film or photograph something:

[ T ] The movie will be shot in the fall.

shootnoun [ C ]

us /ʃut/

shoot noun [ C ] (PLANT)

the first part of a plant to appear above the ground as it develops from a seed, or a new growth on an already existing plant:

Little green shoots appeared in the spring.

shoot noun [ C ] (FILM)

the act of taking a series of photographs or of filming a movie:

I remember doing a shoot there.


us /ʃut/ infml

shoot exclamation (SPEAK)

used to tell someone else they should speak:

"Dad, I need to talk to you." "Shoot."

(Definition of “shoot” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)