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1. A situation in which opposing people or groups of people shoot at each other with guns; a gunfight. Sometimes spelled as a single word. The shoot-out between government soldiers and rebel fighters lasted well into the night. The police descended on the bank robbers, leading to an hourslong shootout in which at least four lives were taken.
2. An intense, typically vitriolic argument or conflict, especially one intended as an attempt to settle or resolve some dispute. The hot button issue eventually led to a shootout on the floor of the senate. We're hoping for an amicable resolution, but we're prepared for a legal shoot-out if it comes to it.
3. In soccer (football), hockey, and some other sports, a method of determining the winner of a tied game in which multiple players take shots on a goal guarded only by a goalkeeper. If no one scores in the next minute, we're going to a shoot-out!
1. n. a gunfight. There was a big shoot-out at the end of the movie.
2. n. an argument. When the shoot-out was over, the boss—confident she had won—went back into her office. A big public shoot-out like that sours morale a lot.