Definition of scattergun in US English:



North American
  • A shotgun.

    • ‘Many citizens have used a scattergun to protect their families and property in the wake of disasters, riots and other upheavals.’
    • ‘This is the first large-scale procurement of anything other than slide-action scatterguns since the U.S. military was pulled out of Vietnam more than 25 years ago.’
    • ‘The new Bounty Hunter external hammer shotgun, imported by European American Arms, is a first-class traditional scattergun.’
    • ‘For decades, short double-barrel scatterguns have been a premier home-defense recommendation by such authorities as Jeff Cooper.’
    • ‘Unlike the vast majority of semiauto scatterguns, the Benelli is not a gas gun.’


  • another term for scattershot
    • ‘It feels much more like the scattergun frenzy of a man with things he wants off his chest.’
    • ‘The drives are sprayed in scattergun fashion, the saves spectacular as a matter of necessity.’
    • ‘His reputation for scattergun attacks arguably reveal him to be an equal-opportunity abuser.’
    • ‘Quickfire rap, killer disco and bubblegum pop prove heart-warmingly infectious, and Stefani's scattergun approach is endearing.’
    • ‘In a series of scattergun flashbacks, the story of their affair emerges.’
    • ‘His style has a somewhat scattergun effect but there is something for everyone as he progresses.’
    • ‘They play exactly that style of harrying scattergun soccer and they are particularly troubling at home.’
    • ‘The critic's attacks on him as being famous for being himself on the telly and not for his food are pure hype.’
    • ‘She brings soul to anything her lazy-sounding voice touches and a vision of the world which is wrought in impressionistic, scattergun lyrics gilded with humour.’
    • ‘If we must have retail developments, let's concentrate on the city centre instead of perpetuating the Council's scattergun approach to planning.’
    • ‘In its scattergun invention and unsentimental broadness, it almost echoes Orson Welles’ work at its most playful.’
    • ‘But our philosophy is to start small and do it well, rather than adopt a scattergun approach and try to offer everything from the start.’
    • ‘But there was a scattergun effect even in the more efficient Conservative campaign where millions were spent on direct mail and telephone canvassing of the swing voters.’
    • ‘You could knock him for not really interacting with his audience, for the scattergun nature of his approach, or for his awkward way of dealing with a heckle.’
    • ‘He might need to be concerned, as the reasonably calm and lucid tone of his email is in direct contrast to his normal abusive scattergun approach.’
    • ‘‘If Wallace and Jack McConnell are not careful, this scattergun approach will land Scotland in hot water,’ he said.’
    • ‘This represents a shift on behalf of some spammers from a random, scattergun approach to a more tailored attack.’
    • ‘Case says his style is different from the scattergun, portfolio approach taken by venture-capital and buyout funds that hope the home runs in their portfolios more than compensate for the duds.’
    • ‘The number of species released in California waters exemplified Stone's policy of scattergun experimentation.’
    • ‘According to the opinion, it's precisely this scattergun approach that breaches the Convention on Human Rights.’