have (someone or something) in (one's) sights

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have (someone or something) in (one's) sights

1. Literally, to have one's gun aimed at someone or something. I had the deer in my sights, but I stepped on a branch and scared it away. The snipers have the target in their sights, sir.
2. By extension, to intend or be preparing to attack or defeat someone. He's had a phenomenal career for such a young boxer, and now he has the reigning champion in his sights. Be careful. You don't want a company like them to have you in their sights.
3. To be focusing one's attention and desire on obtaining or achieving something. They've had an Olympic gold medal in their sights for the last eight years. The retired actor now has public office in his sights.
See also: have, sight
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

have someone or something in one's sights

1. Lit. to have one's gun aimed at someone or something. The sniper had the soldier in his sights. I had the deer in my sights. I fired.
2. Fig. to consider someone or something one's goal or conquest. I have a promotion in my sights and I hope to get it before the end of the year. I've had Sally in my sights for years. I intend to marry her.
See also: have, sight
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

have someone in your sights

If you have someone in your sights, you are determined to catch or defeat them. Note: The sights on a weapon such as a rifle are the part that helps you to aim it more accurately. Knight had Thomas in his sights for much of the race, but in the end, failed to catch him up. Lennox Lewis beware! Earl Barrett has got you in his sights. Note: These expressions are often used more literally to say that someone is looking at a target through the sights of a gun.
See also: have, sight, someone
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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