long shot

long shot


  • a bet with very low chances of winning.
  • a risky bet.
  • wild guesses.
  • a proposition or attempt with low chances of succeeding.
  • a project with a very small probability of success.
  • a way of solving a problem that is not guaranteed to succeed but is worth attempting.

Example Sentences

  1. I don’t think I would be considered a pessimist, not by a long shot.
  2. Even though the solution you are presenting is a long shot, we’ll try it out in the hope that it will work.
  3. The mule is a long shot, but if he wins, the bet will be a very good payment.
  4. She is busy, and I know it is a long shot, but I might be able to convince her to help me with the project.
  5. Her being a candidate was a long shot from the beginning, making her huge defeat not so surprising.


Some theories have it that the phrase “long shot” came about because of the high accuracy levels of the early naval guns. These guns were only effective at close range, but they were unlikely to hit marks at a great distance. When the phrase is used to indicate a considerable amount, mostly with a negative connotation, it can be traced back to 1830 in American English colloquial, but when used figuratively to indicate something that is unlikely to happen, it was first used in 1867. The adaptation of the idiom into the cinematic scene happened in 1922, while its use as an adjective first happened in 1975.

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The Idioms Dictionary explains common English idioms that are popular worldwide, especially in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand.

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