Share this entry

potshot Line breaks: pot|shot
Pronunciation: /ˈpɒtʃɒt/

Definition of potshot in English:


1A shot aimed at a person or thing that happens to be within easy reach: a sniper took a potshot at him
More example sentences
  • One company commander said that as his squads moved through residential areas, they were fired on from inside buildings, and snipers took potshots at them from numerous hiding places.
  • It certainly seems that mass numbers of surrenders from the existing troops, as they exist, and the end of snipers and potshots coming from the local populace will indicate an end to this.
  • Native forces offered resistance, with fighters in buses and trucks sent across the river to attack US troops and regime snipers took potshots from rooftops.
1.1A criticism, especially a random or unfounded one: the show takes wickedly funny potshots at as many movies as it can muster
More example sentences
  • That lonely eminence makes him something of a target for critical potshots from his lessers.
  • Rock critics love to take potshots at one another.
  • This could prove to be intensely irritating and amusing in equal measure, and probably all too easy to take potshots at.


Mid 19th century: originally a shot at an animal intended for the pot, i.e. purely for food, rather than for display (which would require skilled shooting according to hunting rules).

Words that rhyme with potshot

eyeshot • bloodshot

Definition of potshot in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: ɪˈnɒkjʊəs
not harmful or offensive