Definition of shoot someone/something down in US English:

shoot someone/something down

phrasal verb

  • 1Bring down an aircraft or missile by shooting at it.

    ‘their helicopter was shot down by an air-to-air missile’
    • ‘The footage also showed that flight patterns were found for aircraft, along with plans and instructions for how to shoot them down.’
    • ‘Through the windows you could see the Scuds arcing over the city and the Patriot missiles trying to shoot them down.’
    • ‘This excludes any possibility for the supposed Earth-based attacker to shoot it down with existing land-to-air missiles, as none of them are able to reach the height of even close to 40 miles.’
    • ‘I know probably how these individuals felt to some extent before they were shot down and lost their lives.’
    • ‘As the summer progresses and multiple German attacks arrive every day, many German planes are shot down, but British losses of planes and particularly pilots become critical.’
    • ‘During one attack a Scud missile was shot down overhead and the wreckage was left in his camp for three days.’
    • ‘Pilots who approach the zone will be told that if they enter it they will be shot down.’
    • ‘There has been speculation that the plane which went down in Pennsylvania was shot down by US Air Force fighters scrambled to track it.’
    • ‘As often happens at critical moments, unanticipated circumstances interfered with shooting the aircraft down during the Central Asian leg of its overflight of the USSR.’
    • ‘The TMD system is intended to detect with satellites ballistic missiles flying within a 3,000-kilometer radius and to shoot them down with missiles.’
    1. 1.1 Kill or wound someone by shooting them, especially in a ruthless way.
      ‘troops shot down 28 demonstrators’
      • ‘Martial law was proclaimed, and robbers were shot down without mercy.’
      • ‘When a few tried to escape they were shot down on the spot and their bodies thrown into the canal.’
      • ‘A crowd of Frenchmen started to swarm across, as the ships locked in deadly combat, but they were shot down.’
      • ‘Within the next few minutes a dozen more people were shot down and many wounded.’
      • ‘Bill Quick is the guy who tells Winer that the group should shoot the murdering creature down before it kills them all.’
      • ‘The first wave of soldiers guarding the base was shot down easily, having not been prepared for an attack.’
      • ‘In the last 48 hours, hundreds of civilians have been shot down on the roadways, in their homes, on their farms.’
      • ‘I also had a go at shooting the cans down twice.’
      • ‘There are the five who died in Basra over the weekend, where it is widely assumed that they were shot down by enemy fire, though that still needs officially to be confirmed.’
      • ‘For years, such peacekeepers, whether in Srebenica or Mogadishu, wielded no power and commanded less respect as women and children were shot down in their presence.’
      gun down, shoot down, mow down, hit, wound, injure, cut down, bring down
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Crush someone or their opinions by forceful criticism or argument.
      ‘she tried to argue and got shot down in flames for her trouble’
      • ‘Both you and Rex Kerr were much nicer to it than Pim who, in my opinion, sought merely to shoot it down.’
      • ‘His aspirations are lofty, yet he has displayed a lack of reverence towards the NFL that means there are already many who hope his aim of winning a Super Bowl is shot down in flames.’
      • ‘But the unfair attacks on Frist were shot down very quickly.’
      • ‘She shoots me down like a spotty teenager with a crush.’
      • ‘When they applied for much needed funding for sporting facilities they were shot down despite the fact that they are deserving cases.’
      • ‘I voiced my opinion after an hour of internal deliberation, but it was shot down and ignored faster than I could blink.’
      • ‘As for his competitors' criticism, Charlton shoots it down as sour grapes.’
      • ‘Bolton's hopes of completing a double over Manchester United were shot down in flames as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fired the Reds to a 4-0 win at the Reebok Stadium.’
      • ‘More than a year before his dream for the North was shot down in flames, Ministers were warned in focus group research that scepticism in the three Northern regions was rife.’
      • ‘‘We didn't think we would be shot down so early on in the game,’ said dad.’