long shot

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long shot

1. A bet that has a low probability of winning. That horse is a long shot, but the bet will pay well if he wins the race.
2. Something that has a very small chance of succeeding. I know it's a long shot because of his busy schedule, but maybe I can convince him to help me with this project. Her candidacy was a long shot from the beginning, and her landslide defeat was no surprise.
See also: long, shot
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*long shot

Fig. a risky bet; an attempt, bet, or proposition that has a low probability of success. (*Typically: be ~; seem like ~.) Your solution is a long shot, but we'll try it and hope it works.
See also: long, shot
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

long shot, a

A remote possibility of success, as in It's a long shot that Joan will actually finish the marathon, or He may be a good programmer, but he's a long shot for that job. This expression alludes to the inaccuracy of early firearms, which when shot over a distance rarely hit the target. It is commonly used in horseracing for a bet made at great odds. A related phrase is not by a long shot, meaning "not even remotely," as in I'll never make it to California in three days, not by a long shot. [Late 1800s]
See also: long
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a long shot

1. If you describe a way of solving a problem as a long shot, you mean that there is little chance that it will succeed, but you think it is worth trying. You could try to find her. It's a long shot but you could start with the phone book.
2. You can also say that something is a long shot when it is very unlikely to happen. It seemed such a long shot, me walking over the hills, and seeing you at the end of it. Compare with by a long shot. Note: The reference here is to someone shooting at a target from a very long distance.
See also: long, shot
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a ˈlong shot

(informal) an attempt or a guess which you do not expect to be successful but which is worth trying: Try ringing him at home. It’s a long shot, I know, but he might just be there.‘Are you going to apply for the manager’s job?’ ‘I don’t know. It’s a bit of a long shot, isn’t it?’A long shot is a shot fired from a long distance and so unlikely to hit its target.
See also: long, shot
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

long shot

n. a wild guess; an attempt at something that has little chance of succeeding. You shouldn’t expect a long shot to pay off.
See also: long, shot
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

long shot, (not by) a

(Not) a remote chance. Early firearms were notoriously inaccurate, and a shot from a distance rarely hit the target. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries a long shot meant just that, a shot fired from afar. By the late nineteenth century the term had been transferred to other improbable circumstances, such as a wild guess or, more specifically, a bet against considerable odds. From about 1865, however, it also meant far-fetched, as in this OED citation from Young Gentleman’s Magazine (1873): “This did not, however, suit her long-shot tactics.”
See also: long
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
So, don't infer from my success that I take long shots all the time.
LONG SHOTS 1ST SCORER Dmitri Payet (WHU) is 6-1 with McBookie
TOP TREBLE QPR, Rangers -2, Dunfermline (4-1, Ladbrokes) SCOTS BOTH TO SCORE Dundee Utd v Killie Dunfermline v Ayr C'beath v Peterhead (7-2, Betway) ENG BOTH TO SCORE Carlisle v Dagenham Exeter v Hartlepool Notts Co v Luton (5-1, McBookie) LONG SHOTS HOMES Birmingham, Charlton Walsall, Rangers -1 Dunfermline Perm any 3 and all 4 (Four 18-1, McBookie) AWAYS Orient, Plymouth Morecambe, Morton Perm any 3 and all 4 (Four 49-1, Ladbrokes) DRAWS Norwich v B'mouth West Brom v Soton Partick Th v Dundee St Mirren v Falkirk Perm any 3 and all 4 (Four 130-1, bet365) SUPERSINGLE BURY have been shaking sides up in recent weeks.
In The Sweet Hereafter, a movie that deals with the aftermath of a school--bus crash on a small community, the bus may crash on screen, but it does so slowly, and in terrifying long shot, a decision that has the deeply disturbing effect of allowing us to imagine the long--term consequences of this tragedy at the same moment we're watching it.
IRELAND were long shots to get a result in Bosnia and now will hope a Long shot puts them through.
With the big clubs on a break this week is a tough one but here are the top tips and long shots.
TOP TREBLE Belgium -3 AH Germany -2, Norway -1 (11-4, McBookie) HOMES Sheff U, Luton, Bromley Forest Green, Tranmere Perm any 4 and all 5 (Five 29-1, William Hill) BOTH TO SCORE Luton v York Dover v Wrexham St Mirren v Dunfermline (4-1, 888sport) 1ST SCORER De Bruyne is 9-2 at bet365 for Belgium LONG SHOTS AWAYS Colchester, Peterboro Orient, Dunfermline Perm any 3 and all 4 (Four 39-1, bet365) DRAWS Bury v Wigan Fleetwood v Coventry Walsall v Burton Cambridge v Pompey Perm any 3 and all 4 (Four 149-1, bet365) BONKERS BET Gibraltar 0, Scotland 5 (7-1, William Hill)
TOP TREBLE Man City -1 Ross Co not to lose C'Beath v Pars over 2.5 (3-1, Coral) HOMES Man City -1 Derby, Burnley Millwall, Ayr Perm any 4 and all 5 (Five 17-1, William Hill) BOTH TO SCORE Wolfsburg v Bayer Excelsior v Vitesse Newport v N'hampton (7-2, McBookie) LONG SHOTS AWAYS West Ham, Hull Ross Co, Annan Perm any 3 and all 4 (47-1, Betfred) DRAWS Preston v Bolton Reading v Brighton Notts Co v Portsmouth Hamilton v St J'stone Perm any 3 and all 4 (Four 149-1, McBookie) BONKERS BET Man City 5, Norwich 1 (33-1, McBookie) SUPERSINGLE TAKING a chance with on-form Crawley in the early League One game at home to York.
It's another busy weekend and here are my selections - the long shots should be done for low stakes.
Filmed in sepia-tinged Cinemascope, the video follows a cowboy on a solitary ride and includes lots of long shots of his back with his guitar slung over his shoulder, the clip-clop of his horse's hooves providing a soothing rhythm.
TOP TREBLE Man City -1, Hearts Sevilla v Barca btts (3-1, Coral) HOMES Derby, Wycombe Hearts, Raith, E Fife Perm any 4 and all 5 (Five 21-1, William Hill) SCOTS BOTH TO SCORE Aberdeen v St J'stone Ross County v ICT St Mirren v Alloa (11-2, McBookie) ENG BOTH TO SCORE Norwich v Leicester Bristol City v MK Dons Colchester v Bury (4-1, 10Bet) LONG SHOTS AWAYS West Ham, Stoke Luton, Dundee Utd Perm any 3 and all 4 (Four 51-1, bet365) DRAWS B'mouth v Watford Reading v Middlesbro Norwich v Leicester Colchester v Bury Perm any 3 and all 4 (Four 153-1, McBookie) BONKERS BET Man City 3, Newcastle 0 (8-1, McBookie) SUPERSINGLE WEST HAM have caught my attention all week and I can't refuse them at 7-5 at Sunderland to keep up their 100 per cent away record.
TOP TREBLE Rangers -1, R Madrid -2 Leicester not to lose (11-4, Coral) HOMES Bury, Shrewbury Plymouth, Ross Co Morecambe Perm any 4 and all 5 (Four 53-1, McBookie) SCOTS BOTH TO SCORE Airdrie v Ayr Cowdenbeath v Forfar Berwick v Annan (11-4, bet365) ENG BOTH TO SCORE Colchester v Gillingham Peterboro v Walsall Wimbledon v Notts Co (41-10, McBookie) 1ST SCORER Chris Martin is 11-2 for Derby on Monday LONG SHOTS AWAYS Leicester, Cardiff Falkirk, Hibs Perm any 3 and all 4 (Four 19-1, William Hill) DRAWS Aston Villa v WBA Hull v QPR Peterboro v Walsall Dundee Utd v ICT Perm any 3 and all 4 (Four 136-1, McBookie) BONKERS BET Alloa 0, Hibs 3 (11-1, Paddy Power)
Here are my top tips and remember to play the long shots for low stakes.
TOP TREBLE Man City -1, Aberdeen Dunfermline (3-1, Skybet) HOMES Chelsea, Man City -1 Plymouth, Ross Co Dunfermline (11-1, Coral) EURO TREBLE Borussia Dortmund Ajax, PSG (all Sun) (5-2, Coral) LONG SHOTS BOTH TO SCORE B'mouth v Leicester St Mirren v Livingston Annan v Montrose (9-2, Betfred) AWAYS Walsall, Aberdeen Peterhead Rangers (Sun) (12-1, Ladbrokes) DRAWS Stoke v West Brom Derby v Leeds (12.05) Ipswich v Brighton Hibs v Raith (208-1, McBookie)