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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
draw a bead on someone/somethingor
take a bead on someone/somethingmainly AMERICAN
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012