pot shot

potshot

[pot-shot]
noun
1.
a shot fired at game merely for food, with little regard to skill or the rules of sport.
2.
a shot at an animal or person within easy range, as from ambush.
3.
a casual or aimless shot.
4.
a random or incidental criticism: to take a potshot at military spending in a speech on taxation.
verb (used without object), potshot or potshotted, potshotting.
5.
to fire or aim potshots: critics potshotting at the administration.

Origin:
1855–60; pot1 + shot1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pot shot
 
n
1.  a chance shot taken casually, hastily, or without careful aim
2.  a shot fired to kill game in disregard of the rules of sport
3.  a shot fired at quarry within easy range, often from an ambush

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

potshot
1858, "shot taken at animal simply to kill for food," in other words, to get it in the pot, not for sporting or marksmanship. Extended sense of "opportunistic criticism" first recorded 1926.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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