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. Motion Pictures, Television.a camera shot taken at a relatively great distance from the subject and permitting a broad view of a scene. Cf. closeup (def. 2), medium shot.
4. by a long shot, by any means; by a measurable degree: They haven't finished by a long shot.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.