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1. noun, slang Someone who is very successful and confident, often in a brash or flashy manner. The term can be used derisively to show one's annoyance with someone who behaves this way. Of course we want to hire Adam—he's a real hotshot in the law world, you know. OK, hotshot, you can do all the work by yourself then.
2. adjective, slang Describing such a person, either favorably or derisively. Of course we want to hire a hotshot lawyer like Adam—he'd be a great addition to the firm. Have that hotshot intern do all the work by himself then.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.


1. n. an important and energetic person. (Often used sarcastically. Also a term of address.) If you’re such a hotshot, why not straighten out the whole thing?
2. and hot-shot mod. brilliant; great. So, you’re the hot-shot guy who’s going to straighten this place out?


McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

hot shot

A very successful expert, well-known person in his or her field. This slangy expression originated centuries ago in the military, meaning someone who is excessively eager to shoot, and began to be used figuratively in the 1600s. Today the term is often used derisively for a supremely self-confident individual who is flamboyantly successful.
See also: hot, shot
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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