Shot In the Dark: What Is the Definition of this Idiom? Useful Examples

The idiomatic phrase “shot in the dark” is a phrase that you may hear or see used often in everyday conversation and writing. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase and the information behind its origin. You will also see examples showing how to properly use this phrase in everyday conversations/statements and you will see some suggested alternatives of how to say this phrase differently while still conveying the same meaning.

Shot In The Dark

Shot In The Dark Meaning

The meaning of the idiomatic phrase “shot in the dark” means taking a wild guess that may or may not be accurate.

Origin of this idiomatic expression

This idiom originated from the word shot meaning to attempt to complete a task. The word shot has been used in this sense since 1841. It was not until 1895 that the entire phrase “shot in the dark” was used in a piece of writing titled The Saturday Review by George Bernard Shaw. The phrase was meant to signify the act of shooting and aiming for something in the dark. Doing this is taking a chance that you will hit a target that you cannot see.

“Shot In The Dark” Examples

Examples in Statements

A statement made by a celebrity in an interview by a well-known entertainment magazine.

  • “I am going to take a shot in the dark and assume you have not yet been to see my latest movie. It is the best film of my career.”

A statement made by a politician on the campaign trail.

  • “Knowing what a majority of the people want or expect from the candidates is like taking a shot in the dark. You just have to make the best assumptions you can based on the information you have available at the time and run with it.”

Examples in Conversation

A conversation between a teacher and one of his students.

  • Teacher: I am taking a shot in the dark here, but I am going to guess you don’t have your homework again.
  • Student: Actually I do have it today Mr. Saunders.
  • Teacher: No way! You do! I am amazed!

A conversation between a husband and wife.

  • Wife: I bet you don’t remember what today is.
  • Husband: Well I know it is not our anniversary. I am going to take a shot in the dark and say its the day I proposed?
  • Wife: Nope, it’s actually the day you first asked me out 25 years ago.

More useful examples:

  • It’s hard to know exactly what to do, we’ll just have to take a shot in the dark.
  • My answer to the last question was a complete shot in the dark.
  • The figure he came up with was really just a shot in the dark.

Other Ways to Say “Shot In The Dark”

As with most idiomatic phrases, there are several other ways you can say “shot in the dark” that still convey the same meaning. Some of the other ways you can say this phrase include:

  • Take a wild guess
  • Take a chance
  • Risk it all

Shot In The Dark Meaning | Image

Shot In The Dark