Definition of shoot-'em-up in English:



  • 1A fast-moving story or movie, of which gunfire is a dominant feature.

    • ‘Access to gory shoot-'em-ups will soon be the least of parents' worries.’
    • ‘I still haven't gotten around to watching it, because I don't care for shoot-'em-up pictures.’
    • ‘When money's involved expect ketchup on the pizza, only this isn't a Mafia movie, it's a homegrown robbers-and-robbers shoot-'em-up.’
    • ‘It takes you back to when shoot-'em-ups routinely boasted apocalyptic weaponry and waves of cannon fodder.’
    • ‘Suddenly, vapid sloganeering and shoot-'em-up thrillers have assumed pariah status.’
    • ‘And while the film may not have the excitement of your average shoot-'em-up action epic, this makes the most of its few action sequences, and makes them count.’
    • ‘There are no hidden messages or Oscar winning performances in the film - it's a simple shoot-'em-up western aimed squarely at the teenage market.’
    • ‘These suggest there's some great combat of wills to come, rather than the director's trademark fast-cutting, soundtrack-led shoot-'em-ups.’
    • ‘In the shoot-'em-up, the hero was a hired gunslinger.’
    • ‘I didn't want it to be an exciting shoot-'em-up action scene.’
    • ‘Although an action cop thriller, this is no run-of-the-mill shoot-'em-up.’
    • ‘Here's a strikingly photographed, elaborately staged widescreen shoot-'em-up extravaganza that just so happens to take place in a world roughly 3 feet high.’
    • ‘This shoot-'em-up is disjointed and disharmonious nonsense, when even the action sequences lack real energy and have little of the slick, expensive pyrotechnics of his previous efforts.’
    • ‘Even more unreal than the all-action, shoot-'em-up film that distracted him for a couple of hours.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, this turns what should be a fun, spaghetti-western style space shoot-'em-up into a race for an open airlock door.’
    • ‘Today they were watching some foreign shoot-'em-up film, perhaps Italian.’
    • ‘Still, as in all good westerns, there are villains in abundance, damsels in distress and whiskey bars galore to hold your interest, although the shoot-'em-up action is nothing we haven't seen before.’
    • ‘I was watching one of those shoot-'em-up westerns on TV just this morning.’
    • ‘One could be forgiven for anticipating something more momentous than a long shoot-'em-up followed by a glorified fistfight.’
    • ‘This is by no means a hyperkinetic shoot-'em-up but a slow meditation taking its own quiet time to set up its subject.’
    1. 1.1A simple video game in which the sole objective is to kill as many enemies as possible to achieve a high score.
      • ‘They are a combination of chess and shoot-'em-ups.’
      • ‘They deplore the way handguns are portrayed in popular television programs and have little time for computer shoot-'em-up games which, in their view, tend to glorify violence.’
      • ‘The player can afford to saunter through the landscape, meandering at a more leisurely pace that would be possible in a competitive shoot-'em-up.’
      • ‘It is ideal for precision work (lining up enemies in shoot-'em-up games, for example) or for use with a laptop on the train.’
      • ‘At night we will sleep at Kadyrov's compound in Gudermes, Chechnya's second city, near an annexe where off-duty militiamen play shoot-'em-up games on computers.’
      • ‘Like gunslingers in their own shoot-'em-up games, top console makers are blasting away with marketing salvoes months before products even hit the shelves.’
      • ‘When I play blood-soaked shoot-'em-up games, the vamped-up violence doesn't really bother me.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, most shoot-'em-up games are so shallow that players gain no personal insight, according to the author.’
      • ‘He watches TV shows and movies, makes phone calls, surfs the Web and plays multiplayer shoot-'em-up games through his high-speed connection - often doing one or more activities at once.’
      • ‘Some people think everything should emulate a computer game and be a fast-moving shoot-'em-up.’
      • ‘Games fans can even enjoy shoot-'em-ups or adventures with sharp colour and nerve-jangling sound effects.’
      • ‘But now the military's fresh faces can get a bit of the comforts of home - by wasting their pals in an online shoot-'em-up game.’
      • ‘As computer games inch beyond shoot-'em-ups into the narrative territory of books and movies I wonder how far the medium can actually go.’
      • ‘The project took a new turn, and Green and his professor began recruiting keen players of the shoot-'em-up game from the university's campus.’