make a dead set at
make a dead set at (someone or something)
1. obsolete To make a determined and resolute effort to obtain something or gain the favor of someone. Rumors have been surfacing that the bachelor prince had been making a dead set at the neighboring king's youngest daughter. It's believed that she is planning to make a dead set at her father's massive estate now that he's gone.
2. obsolete To make a determined and resolute attack on or effort against someone or something. The temptations of sin and the devil will forever make a dead set at man's faith and morality, but we must be strong in the face of them. Members of congress made a dead set at the president to prevent him from vetoing the legislation.
make a dead set atmake a determined attempt to win the affections of. British
Dating from the early 19th century, this was originally a sporting idiom, referring to the manner in which a dog such as a setter or pointer stands stock still with its muzzle pointing in the direction of game.