hit below the belt

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hit (one) below the belt

To unfairly target one's weakness or vulnerability. The phrase refers to boxing, in which hitting an opponent below the waist is prohibited. I know she really wants the promotion, but she really hit me below the belt by telling the boss about my personal problems.
See also: below, belt, hit

hit below the belt

To unfairly target another person's weakness or vulnerability. The phrase refers to boxing, in which hitting an opponent below the waist is unacceptable. I know she really wants the promotion, but she hit below the belt when she told the boss about my personal problems.
See also: below, belt, hit
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hit someone below the belt

 
1. Lit. [for a boxer] to strike an opponent below the belt. (An unfair blow.) The champ hit the contender below the belt and the crowd began to boo like fury. Fred was hit below the belt and suffered considerably.
2. Fig. to deal someone an unfair blow. That's not fair! You told them I was the one who ordered the wrong-size carpet. That's hitting me below the belt. Todd hit below the belt when he said it was all her fault because she had become ill during the trip.
See also: below, belt, hit
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

below the belt, hit

Not behave according to the rules or decency, unfairly, as in Bringing up my mother's faults-that's really hitting below the belt. The term comes from boxing, where according to the Marquis of Queensberry Rules (1865) a fighter may punch his opponent only in the upper body or head. For a synonym, see low blow; also see under one's belt.
See also: below, hit
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.

below the belt

Unfair behavior. The term comes from boxing, where the Marquess of Queensberry rules, formulated in 1865, prohibit striking an opponent there. It began to be used figuratively in the late nineteenth century.
See also: below, belt
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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