NOUN: 1. Music a. An instrument having an upright triangular frame consisting of a pillar, a curved neck, and a hollow back containing the sounding board, with usually 46 or 47 strings of graded lengths that are played by plucking with the fingers. b. Any of various ancient and modern instruments of similar construction. c. Informal A harmonica . 2. Something, such as a pair of vertical supports for a lampshade, that resembles a harp.
INTRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: harped, harping, harps. To play a harp.
PHRASAL VERB: harp on To talk or write about to an excessive and tedious degree; dwell on.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English, from Old English hearpe and from Old French harpe, of Germanic origin.
NOUN: 1. The firing or discharge of a weapon, such as a gun. 2. The distance over which something is shot; the range. 3a. 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. 4a. Sports An attempt to score in a game, as in soccer or hockey. b. Baseball A home run. 5. Sports & Games a. The flight or path of a projectile in a game. b. A stroke in a game, as in golf or billiards. 6. A pointed or critical remark. 7. Informal a. An attempt; a try: took a shot at losing weight. b. A guess. c. An opportunity: gave him a fair shot at the part in the play. d. A chance at odds; something to bet on: The horse was a four-to-one shot. 8a. A solid projectile designed to be discharged from a firearm or cannon. b. Inflected forms: pl. shot Such projectiles considered as a group. c. Inflected forms: pl. shot Tiny lead or steel pellets, especially ones used in a shotgun cartridge. d. One of these pellets. 9. Sports The heavy metal ball that is put for distance in the shot put. 10. One who shoots in a particular way: a good shot with the rifle and the bow. 11a. A charge of explosives used in blasting mine shafts. b. A detonation of an explosive charge. 12a. A photographic view or exposure: got a good shot of that last model. b. A developed photographic image. c. A single cinematic take. 13a. A hypodermic injection. b. A small amount given or applied at one time: a shot of oxygen. 14. A drink, especially a jigger of liquor. 15. An amount to be paid, as for drinks; a bill. 16. Nautical A length of chain equal to 15 fathoms (90 feet) in the United States and 121/2 fathoms (75 feet) in Great Britain.
TRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: 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 wild unsubstantiated guess. 2. An attempt that has little chance of succeeding.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English, from Old English sceot, scot.
The American Heritage™ Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.