Definition of shotgun in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈʃɒtɡʌn/


Image of shotgun
1A smooth-bore gun for firing small shot at short range.
Example sentences
  • Kimmitt said troops at the scene found a variety of weapons, including shotguns, handguns, rifles and machine guns.
  • Final returns are still being evaluated, but the haul includes hand guns, rifles, shotguns, air guns and imitation firearms.
  • He was captured with an assault rifle, a shotgun, and two pistols.
2North American informal The front passenger seat in a vehicle: [as modifier]: I took the shotgun seat
More example sentences
  • I had a '60 Ford Galaxie back in the 60s that had a rust hole behind the "shotgun" seat.
  • If I was pitching that day, my warmup would generally consist of throwing someone's socks to the shotgun seat from the back.
  • I can only imagine that when Zack takes his friends places, he gets both the driver's seat and shotgun.
2.1 [as exclamation] Used to claim the right to sit in the front passenger seat of a vehicle on a particular journey: ‘Shotgun!’ she yelled and tossed the keys to Veronica
More example sentences
  • "Shotgun!" he shouted, scurrying to the passenger side.
  • I watched two men with bulging backpacks descend the stairs and load them into the boot, nearly filling it up. "Shotgun!" one of them said.
  • Did he yell out "Shotgun" to ride up front with the engineer?


chiefly North American
1Aimed at a wide range of things; having no specific target: many companies use the shotgun approach, aiming advertising at the widest possible audience
More example sentences
  • I am taking the shotgun approach to the insurance question.
  • Like tiny divining rods, these drugs hunt down only diseased cells, avoiding the shotgun approach of past chemotherapies.
  • I love George and wish him well, but the shotgun approach strikes me as counterproductive.
2Denoting a long, narrow single-storey house whose rooms are arranged one behind another: his family lived in a shotgun shack in South Memphis
More example sentences
  • They don't live on the wrong side of the tracks in McIntyre, Ga. Their shotgun shack lies virtually on the railroad tracks.
  • On the icy road to nowhere, the car flips over the railing and lands near a seemingly abandoned shotgun shack.
  • She uses a "little shotgun shack in a checkered neighborhood in Lexington" as an art and writing studio.


[with object]
1Shoot at or kill with a shotgun: he had been shotgunned by drug dealers
More example sentences
  • He was shotgunned in the back while lying on the floor of the convenience store where he worked as a clerk.
  • He acknowledged he shotgunned his parents to death.
  • One came driving at me, so I shotgunned him in the head as he drove past.
2North American informal Consume (a canned drink) in one go by puncturing the can, putting one’s mouth over the resulting hole, and then opening the can by means of the ring pull to produce a rapid flow: a group of us shotgunned beers
More example sentences
  • He's signalling to the ref that they are to shotgun the beers!
  • The video follows Shana Cleveland on an introspective winter walk through Index, WA while the rest of the band shotgun beers and drive around in truck beds.
  • Just reading the names together in one sentence made my head start banging furiously and caused me to shotgun a beer.



call shotgun

North American informal Claim the right to sit in the front passenger seat of a vehicle on a particular journey: my girlfriend called shotgun, so I sat in the back seat
More example sentences
  • Rocky called shotgun so I got in the back.
  • Significant others of the driver or other people related (non-siblings) to the driver need not call shotgun.
  • If that politician ever asks to go for a ride, call shotgun.

ride shotgun

North American informal
Travel as a guard next to the driver of a vehicle: police have begun riding shotgun on buses to protect frightened drivers and passengers
More example sentences
  • When I rode shotgun for truck drivers, my weapon of choice was a 12-gauge pump-action.
  • We need someone to ride shotgun with our first responders-more guns, right?
  • One crew came under such sustained abuse that town hall chiefs ordered Neighbourhood Safety officers to ride shotgun on the truck to stop the attacks.
2.1Ride in the front passenger seat of a vehicle: Jacob got in the back seat next to Katie and Jessica rode shotgun
More example sentences
  • Last year, she rode shotgun in a NASCAR vehicle for several laps at a California racetrack.
  • One Porsche fan will be given the chance to ride shotgun in the one-off 911 on Britain's Silverstone circuit.
  • If your dog likes to ride shotgun with you in the car, margarine tubs are the perfect utensil for dog food and water to-go.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: shot|gun

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