home in on


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home in on (something)

1. To identify and move toward the position of a target. Their new heat-seeking missiles can home in on targets from over 3,000 miles away. Police are homing in on the criminals' hideout.
2. To get incrementally closer to discovering or understanding something. It has taken multiple drafts, but I think I'm finally homing in on the right tone for my novel. Scientists said they are homing in on a cure for the terrible disease.
3. To focus one's attention or concentration on something. There was so much wonderful stuff in that movie, so I don't know why you're homing in on one single problematic scene. My professor loves to ramble for 10-20 minutes before finally homing in on the topic of the day's lecture.
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Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

home in on

Move toward or focus on a goal, as in He began with a couple of jokes before homing in on the main subject of his talk. This expression originally alluded to a vessel, aircraft or missile being guided to its target by a radio beam or some other means. [c. 1920]
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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.
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