Definition of Parthian shot in US English:

Parthian shot


  • another term for parting shot
    • ‘Daniel Okrent, the NYT's ombudsman through its crisis months departs this week, loosing a Parthian shot or two at his erstwhile employer.’
    • ‘‘Success is just one step ahead, there is no loser’ was his Parthian shot.’
    • ‘Moving in his downfall, sadly dilapidated in his disgrace, Bosco delivers a threateningly Parthian shot that should leave no one unshuddering.’
    • ‘His Parthian shot on the Holyrood site was equally unhelpful: ‘It was only a Glaswegian who could have chosen it.’’
    • ‘By way of a Parthian shot, consider the recent and current warfare in Iraq in the light of the centrality of the concept of ‘information dominance’ to the anticipated success of transformed forces.’
    • ‘The day that Karen had left, angry and shouting as she dragged her bulging suitcase down the hall, her Parthian shot had been ‘You love that bloody truck more than you love me.’’


Late 19th century: so named because of the trick used by Parthians of shooting arrows backwards while in real or pretended flight.


Parthian shot

/ˈpärTHēən SHät/