get a bead on (someone or something)(redirected from got a bead on)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
get a bead on (someone or something)
1. To aim at someone or something with the sights on a firearm. I managed to get a bead on the enemy sniper but had to wait until I received the order to fire.
2. By extension, to focus one's attention on someone or something so as to deal with or attack him, her, or it. The candidate got a bead on his opponent's poor political record during the debate. The president has pledged to get a bead on the growing problem of adolescent obesity.
3. To thoroughly understand, appreciate, or comprehend someone or something. The team just has to get a bead on the severity of the cyber attack before we can implement any meaningful fixes. I couldn't understand him at first, but I'm finally starting to get a bead on my sister's boyfriend.