firing line

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firing line

1. In battle, a line of soldiers armed and ready to fire on an enemy. Our firing line will be able to push back the enemy, I'm sure of it.
2. A place where one is vulnerable to or expected to receive criticism. I'm not going into the boss's office right now—I'm not ready to be on the firing line this early in the morning!
See also: firing, line
References in classic literature ?
Instantly the scene changed as by magic; the foremost vessel swung broadside toward us, and bringing her guns into play returned our fire, at the same time moving parallel to our front for a short distance and then turning back with the evident intention of completing a great circle which would bring her up to position once more opposite our firing line; the other vessels followed in her wake, each one opening upon us as she swung into position.
A second volley stopped them for an instant, and then my reserve sprang through the openings in the firing line to engage them with sword and shield.
He was her captain, and she a mere unit in the firing line. It was a privilege to do what she was told.
It was the right hand, and until it healed the man could be of no further use in the firing line; nor was the case serious enough for admission to a crowded field-hospital; and Connal himself offered his services as custodian of a number of our horses which we were keeping out of harm's way in a donga.
A retrospective of old Firing Lines is shown as a warm-up for the crowd, and there we get to see the very young Jesse Jackson, the very furious William Kunstler, the very urbane J.K.
Tonight sees the recording of the very last of William Buckley's Firing Line shows.
I did my first Firing Line in 1983 and swiftly learned that if I left the studio cursing at what I hadn't said, it was my own fault.
(The show was Uncommon Knowledge, chaired by Peter Robinson, and one hopes that this will now succeed Firing Line on public television.) The subject was 1968 in retrospect.
In the past, many ranges--particularly police ranges--were comprised of a single, wide firing line. With a line of cops moving along the range to engage targets from varying distances, it was inevitable that people would get out of position, creating a potentially dangerous situation.
If you drop something like, say, a magazine, never move or reach forward of the firing line to retrieve it until a cease fire is called.