Shot Out: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
November 11, 2023

"Shot out" is the simple past and past participle of shoot out, which means to fire a weapon. It is also a slang expression that means someone or something is exhausted, damaged, crazy, or messed up. It can also be used to describe a situation that is chaotic, risky, or out of control. In hunting, it refers to an area where game animals have been overhunted to the point where they are scarce or no longer present.

In short:

  • It is the past tense of "shoot out," like when a bullet is fired from a gun.
  • It can be slang for feeling tired, crazy, or ruined.
  • It can also talk about a situation being wild or dangerous.
  • It can be used to make fun of someone's looks or actions.
  • It can refer to an area that's been hunted so much that there are hardly any game animals left.

What Does "Shot Out" Mean?

The term "shot out" has multiple meanings depending on the context in which it's used. In its most literal sense, it's the past tense of "shoot out," as in firing a bullet from a weapon. In slang, it's often used to describe someone or something that's worn out, damaged, or chaotic. In hunting terminology, it refers to an area where game animals are scarce due to overhunting.

Let's explore its core meanings and usage:

  • "Shot out" can mean that a bullet has been fired from a gun.
  • As a slang term, it's used to describe someone or something that's tired, messed up, or crazy.
  • It can also depict a situation that is out of control, wild, or dangerous.
  • In hunting, it identifies an area where overhunting has led to a scarcity of game animals.
  • When talking about someone's behavior, saying they're "shot out" means they're acting strangely or unpredictably, often used in a sarcastic or humorous way.

Where Does "Shot Out" Come From?

The origin of the idiom "shot out" is not very clear, but it may have something to do with the idea of shooting a gun or a bullet. When a firearm is "shot out," it has been used so much that it is no longer accurate or reliable. When a shell is "shot out," it has been fired and lost its power or direction. Similarly, when a person or a thing is "shot out," it means they have been worn out, depleted, or damaged by excessive use or stress.

Historical Example

Then held she her tongue, and cast downe a self-accusing looke, finding, that in her selfe she had (as it were) shot out of the bow of her affection, a more quick opening of her minde, then she minded to have done.

- The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia, Volume 2, 1590

10 Examples of "Shot Out" in Sentences

Here are some examples of how to use this idiom in different sentences:

  • I'm so shot out after working all night. I need some coffee and a nap.
  • That car is shot out. It barely runs and makes weird noises.
  • He's shot out of his mind. He thinks he can fly and talk to aliens.
  • For God's sake, this party is shot out. There's too much drama and noise.
  • Real talk: He looks shot out. Did he get into a fight or something?
  • What can I say? She's not shot out. She's just eccentric and creative.
  • This project is shot out. We have no budget, time, or clue what we're doing.
  • She's always shot out of a cannon. She never thinks before she acts.
  • Oh, snap. The computer crashed, and now it's shot out.
  • She looked shot out after pulling an all-nighter.

Examples of "Shot Out" in Pop Culture

Here are some examples of how this idiom has appeared in various forms of pop culture:

  • "The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead" by Chanelle Benz discusses a collection of stories that explore various characters and their complex lives.
  • In the movie "Due Date," a character named Peter Highman says, "You are the most shot-out 23-year-old I've ever seen. How have you made it this far? How have you not run yourself over in a car?"
  • Mac Dre's song "Shots Out" contains the lyrics: "Step off, punks! Goddamn right. But check this out, though. You need to send a shot out to your partners and sh*t."
  • The song "Twilight Zone" by Golden Earring pays tribute to the 1960s television series "The Twilight Zone" and includes the line: "bassist Rinus Gerritsen knocks that shot out..."
  • A New York Times podcast article talks about why the U.S. keeps shooting objects out of the sky, stating, "Yeah, it just felt almost supernatural. So I want to talk about how we got to this moment where all these things are being shot out of the sky."

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Shot Out"

Here are some synonyms for this idiom:

  • Burned out
  • Washed up
  • Wiped out
  • Shot to pieces
  • Shot through
  • Out of it
  • Off the rails
  • Out of control

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Shot Out"

Here are some common questions and answers about this idiom:

  • What does "shot out" mean?

The idiom "shot out" is a slang expression that means someone or something is exhausted, damaged, crazy, or messed up. It can also be used to describe a situation that is chaotic, risky, or out of control. Sometimes, it can be used as an insult or a joke to mock someone's appearance, behavior, or intelligence.

  • What is the origin of the phrase "shot out"?

The origin of the idiom "shot out" is not very clear, but it may have something to do with the idea of shooting a gun or a bullet.

  • What is the difference between "shot out" and "shout out"?

"Shot out" is a slang idiom that means exhausted, damaged, crazy, or messed up. "Shout out" is a phrase that means a public expression of greeting, praise, or acknowledgment.

  • Is "shot out" offensive or rude?

It depends on the context and tone. Sometimes, "shot out" can be used as an insult or a joke to mock someone's appearance, behavior, or intelligence. Other times, it can be used as a friendly or humorous way to describe oneself or someone else who is tired, stressed, or adventurous.

  • How do you use "shot out" in a sentence?

You can use "shot out" as an adjective or an adverb to modify a noun or a verb. For example: "He's shot out after working all night." (adjective) "She looks shot out." (adverb)

  • Can you use "shot out" in formal situations?

No, you should avoid using "shot out" in formal situations, such as academic writing, professional communication, or official speeches. It is a slang expression more suitable for informal situations, such as casual conversations, social media posts, or personal messages.

  • What part of speech is "shot out"?

Shot out" is a compound word that consists of two parts: the past tense verb "shot" and the adverb "out." Together, they form an adjective or an adverb phrase that describes the state or condition of someone or something.

  • What are some synonyms for "shot out"?

Some synonyms for "shot out" are burned out, washed up, wiped out, shot to pieces, shot through, out of it, off the rails, and out of control.

  • What are some antonyms for "shot out"?

Some antonyms for "shot out" are fresh, new, successful, popular, energetic, victorious, intact, flawless, aware, involved, on track, and in control.

  • How popular is the idiom "shot out"?

The idiom "shot out" is not popular in mainstream media or literature. However, it may be more common in certain subcultures or regions where slang expressions are more prevalent.

Final Thoughts About "Shot Out"

The idiom "shot out" is a slang expression with different meanings depending on the context and tone. It is a versatile and expressive slang expression that can enrich vocabulary and communication skills.

Key points to remember about the idiom:

  • It can mean something literally being fired or projected, or describe something as being worn out or unreliable.
  • It's a term you'll mostly hear in casual settings or informal conversations.
  • While it can describe both people and things, it usually has a negative connotation, indicating that something is not in the best shape or condition.

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