from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An entry, as in a horserace, with only a slight chance of winning.
  • n. A bet made at great odds.
  • n. A venture that offers a great reward if successful but has very little chance of success.
  • n. A photograph or a film or television shot in which the subject is shown at a relatively small scale.
  • idiom by a long shot Informal To any extent; at all. Usually used in negative sentences: You haven't done your share of the work by a long shot.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Something unlikely; something that has little chance of happening or working. The term arose from the accuracy of early ship guns, which were effective only at close range and unlikely to hit the mark at any great distance.
  • n. A master shot, the primary wide shot of a scene into which the closeups will be edited later.

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

  • n. a contestant that is unlikely to win
  • n. a venture that involves great risk but promises great rewards


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • His meeting with Murtagh of the Royal Belgium had been what Casey had forecast — a long shot but a good one.

    Noble House

  • Seconds later a loop called Jungle Love came on: a jerky, hand-held pan of a plywood-paneled room, followed by a long shot of a naked black couple squirming on a daybed in time to a rhythm-and-funk beat.

    Over the Edge

  • Danny spent an hour scanning “Arrestee” reports, looking for tall, gray-haired, middle-aged men with violence in their MOs, knowing it was a long shot to keep him busy until Musician’s Local 3126 opened at

    The Big Nowhere

  • Sicks authoritative inside account labels this a long shot that just missed, and it offered intermittent hope until the second week in April 1980.

    In the Shadow of the Oval Office

  • Today's episode starts with a long shot of Fluffy and Ting Foy at their feeding station, gobbling their food amicably.

    The Cat Who Came To Breakfast

  • But he quickly backpedaled, acknowledging that Feliciano remains a long shot to contribute this season.

    Yanks Looking High and Low for Help


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