draw a bead on (someone or something)(redirected from drawn a bead on them)
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 or somethingand get a bead on someone or something
1. . Lit. to locate someone or something in the sights of a gun. Fred drew a bead on the target and pulled the trigger. The hunter drew a bead on the deer.
2. Fig. to prepare to deal with or obtain someone or something. As soon as I get a bead on how widespread the problem really is, I will set up a meeting about it.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
draw a bead on
Take careful aim, as in The debater drew a bead on his opponent. This term, dating from about 1830, alludes to the bead on a revolver or rifle, that is, a small knob in the foresight. [c. 1930]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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
draw (or get) a bead ontake aim at with a gun. chiefly North American
1994 Ontario Out of Doors Few moose will pose majestically right at the water's edge while you draw a bead on them.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
draw a bead on (someone), to
To take careful verbal aim at a person. An Americanism dating from about 1830, the term comes from aiming a revolver or rifle, on which the “bead” was a small knob on the foresight. It was being used figuratively by about 1930.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer