from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A shooting of guns with intent to inflict harm.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An instance of the firing of small arms with the intent to kill or frighten.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The discharge of firearms, usually with violent intent and in confrontations.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a fight involving shooting small arms with the intent to kill or frighten


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • I thought this word had fallen out of usage until I moved to Canada, where despite never being used in conversation it's a staple of TV reports. One of those news-only words, like lethal cocktail. To me it sounds cute and quaint, very Wild-West.

    October 13, 2007

  • Ah, those TV news terms. Everything sounds so heroic. My favorite is "fighting for his (or her) life" when someone ends up in a hospital.

    October 13, 2007

  • A man of 18 is fighting for his life tonight after gunplay outside the 7-11. Witnesses described three youths fleeing the scene.

    October 13, 2007

  • Yes! I believe a list is in order. Would you like to do the honors, yarb, or should I?

    October 13, 2007