long shot

noun
1.
a horse, team, etc., that has little chance of winning and carries long odds.
2.
an attempt or undertaking that offers much but in which there is little chance for success.
3.
Movies, Television. a camera shot taken at a relatively great distance from the subject and permitting a broad view of a scene. Compare closeup ( def 2 ), medium shot.
Idioms
4.
by a long shot, by any means; by a measurable degree: They haven't finished by a long shot.

Origin:
1785–95

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
long shot
 
n
1.  a competitor, as in a race, considered to be unlikely to win
2.  a bet against heavy odds
3.  an undertaking, guess, or possibility with little chance of success
4.  films, television a shot where the camera is or appears to be distant from the object to be photographed
5.  by a long shot by any means: he still hasn't finished by a long shot

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

long shot
in the figurative sense of "something unlikely," 1867, from long + shot. The notion is of a shot at a target from a great distance, thus difficult to make.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

long shot definition


  1. n.
    a wild guess; an attempt at something that has little chance of succeeding. : You shouldn't expect a long shot to pay off.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
We see the prison buildings in a long shot from the air.
However, the news is not all doom and gloom by a long shot.
However, in any marriage it is a long shot that both partners will be
  completely satisfied in their vocational arrangements.
How weak to try to attach a ridiculous claim to a post that never made any
  statement of the sort, not by a long shot.
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