a shot/stab in the dark

a shot in the dark

1. A guess or estimate with very little or no assurance as to its accuracy. Well, this is just a shot in the dark, but I'm going to say that the answer to the question is 52.
2. An attempt that is not expected to succeed or has very little chance of working. It was really just a shot in the dark when I tried to fix our washing machine, but I was actually able to get it working again on my first try!
See also: dark, shot

a stab in the dark

1. A guess or estimate with very little or no assurance as to its accuracy; a wild guess. Well, this is just a stab in the dark, but I'm going to say that the answer to the question is Countess Constance Markievicz.
2. An attempt (at something) which is not expected to succeed or has very little chance of working. It was really just a stab in the dark when I tried to fix our washing machine, but I was actually able to get it working again on my first try!
See also: dark, stab
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

shot in the dark

Fig. a very general attempt; a wild guess. It was just a shot in the dark. I had no idea I was exactly correct. Come on, try it. Even a shot in the dark may win.
See also: dark, shot
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

shot in the dark

A wild, unsubstantiated guess; also, an attempt that has little chance for success. For example, It was a shot in the dark, but the engineers had a hunch that replacing the valve would make the system work , or You can try looking for your key on the beach, but I think it's a shot in the dark. [Colloquial; late 1800s]
See also: dark, shot
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 shot in the dark

or

a stab in the dark

If a guess is a shot in the dark or a stab in the dark, it is not based on facts, but there is a small chance that it will be right. Our strategy is based on good intelligence. This is not a shot in the dark. He described the government's figures as a stab in the dark.
See also: dark, shot
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a shot (or stab) in the dark

an act whose outcome cannot be foreseen; a mere guess.
The metaphorical use of in the dark to mean ‘in a state of ignorance’ dates from the late 17th century.
See also: dark, shot
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a shot/stab in the ˈdark

a guess; something you do without knowing what the result will be: The figure he came up with was really just a shot in the dark.
See also: dark, shot, stab
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

shot in the dark

n. a very general attempt; a wild guess. It was just a shot in the dark. I had no idea I was exactly correct.
See also: dark, shot
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

shot in the dark

Informal
1. A guess.
2. An attempt that has little chance of succeeding.
See also: dark, shot
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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