English Idiom – Long Shot

Meaning – Used to describe something that has a very small chance of success, or that is unlikely to happen. This expression is common in the world of gambling, where a long shot is a bet placed on an event with a low probability of occurring.

This phrase likely came about in reference to early naval guns. These guns were very unlikely to hit a target at any distance – hence a long shot became known as something that is unlikely to be successful.

Related Expressions:


When could you use this idiom?

  • A situation where there is a slim chance of achieving the desired outcome.
  • If you are discussing plans, goals, or decisions that involve taking a risk.
  • You are thinking about placing a bet on a horse in a race that has very long odds – and little chance of winning!
  • “I’m going to try to get a scholarship, even though it’s a long shot.”
In The News:
  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?
What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.