draw a bead on someone/something

draw a bead on (someone or something)

1. To aim at someone or something with the sights on a firearm. I managed to draw 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 drew a bead on his opponent's poor political record in the UN during the debate. The president has pledged to draw a bead on the growing problem of adolescent obesity.
3. To thoroughly understand, appreciate, or comprehend someone or something. The team just has to draw a bead on the severity of the cyber attack before we can implement any meaningful fixes. I couldn't get my head around him at first, but I'm finally starting to draw a bead on my sister's boyfriend.
See also: bead, draw, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

draw a bead on someone/something


take a bead on someone/something

If you draw a bead on a target, you aim your weapon at it. He had entered my office with a loaded gun and had drawn a bead on my heart. The small pale eyes squeezed shut as if he were taking a bead on her. Note: The bead is the small marker on top of the end of the barrel on some guns, which is used to aim at the target.
See also: bead, draw, on, someone, something
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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