swipe at (someone or something)

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swipe at (someone or something)

To try to hit someone or something with a wide, arcing blow or stroke. It has me worried the way their toddler swipes at anyone who tries to approach him to say hello. The drunkard swiped at the security guard and collapsed in a heap on the pavement. He sat swiping at the golf ball for nearly five minutes before he finally hit it.
See also: swipe
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

swipe at

v.
1. To attempt to hit someone or something with a sweeping stroke: The cat swiped at the string. The hockey player swiped at the puck.
2. To attack someone verbally; criticize someone sharply: The candidate took every opportunity to swipe at her opponent.
See also: swipe
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Despite the decrease, card swiping at clothing, shoes, and accessories stores was the third most common card transaction, accounting for 9.5 per cent of all transactions, followed by card swipes at restaurants, bars and the catering sectors which accounted for 6.57 per cent of the October transactions.