shoot (someone or something) down

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shoot (someone or something) down

To reject, foil, or disappoint the aspirations of someone or something. I asked John out for a date, but he shot me down. The committee shot down our plans for a new apartment block. The candidate was able to shoot down each of his opponents' claims with indisputable proof.
See also: down, shoot

shoot (someone, something, or an animal) down

to bring down someone, something, or an animal by gunfire. Fred shot Mike down in the street. They shot down the plane.
See also: down, shoot

shoot something down

Fig. to foil a plan through criticism; to counter an idea with criticism. (Based on shoot someone, something, or an animal down.) He raised a good point, but the others shot him down almost immediately. Liz shot down Jeff's best idea.
See also: down, shoot

shoot down

1. Ruin the aspirations of, disappoint, as in Bill was hoping Sharon would go out with him, but she shot him down.
2. Reject, defeat; also, expose as false. For example, It was the best idea I could come up with, but they unanimously shot it down, or It was inevitable that they would shoot down any claim made by the opposing candidate. This colloquial expression, which alludes to bringing down an aircraft or game bird by shooting, is sometimes intensified as shoot down in flames, originally (in World War I) referring to bringing down enemy aircraft but the late 1950s extended to decisively defeating anyone or anything.
See also: down, shoot

shoot down

v.
1. To cause something to collapse or fall by striking it with bullets, missiles, or some other projectile; gun down: They shot down the attacking airplanes. The kids released a balloon and shot it down with an air rifle.
2. To kill someone by shooting them; gun down: They stormed into the office and shot down everyone there. The assassin walked up to her target and shot him down.
3. To discredit someone or someone's proposal: Whenever I offer an opinion, they just shoot me down. The council shot down the mayor's proposal. I'm afraid this new evidence shoots down our old theory of what happened.
4. To ruin the aspirations of someone: Their sneers and insults shot me down. A bad critic can shoot down even a very determined artist.
5. To put an end to something; defeat something: The opposition was able to shoot down the proposal. The electorate shot the incumbent down.
See also: down, shoot