set (one's) sights on (someone or something)

(redirected from they set their sights on them)

set (one's) sights on (someone or something)

To identify, regard, or focus on someone or something as one's goal. Ever since she was a little girl, Janet has set her sights on being a fighter pilot. They're setting their sights on you to be their new head of marketing.
See also: on, set, sight
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

set one's sights on someone or something

Fig. to regard having someone or something as one's goal. He wanted a wife and he had set his sights on Alice. James set his sights on a law degree.
See also: on, set, sight
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

set one's sights on

Have as a goal, as in She's set her sights on law school. This expression alludes to the device on a firearm used for taking aim. [Mid-1900s]
See also: on, set, sight
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.

set your sights on something

COMMON If you set your sights on something, you decide that you want it and try very hard to get it. Note: The sights on a weapon such as a rifle are the part that helps you to aim it more accurately. Although she came from a family of bankers, Franklin set her sights on a career in scientific research. Gareth Jenkins and his assistant, Alan Lewis, have clearly set their sights on winning the championship. Note: You can also say that someone has their sights on something or has their sights set on it if they have decided that they want that thing. Brand and Torrance had their sights on the £111,000 first prize. With his football career coming to an end, Sibley now has his sights set on a TV career. Note: You can say that someone sets their sights high when they try to get something that is hard to achieve. If you say that someone sets their sights low, you mean that they do not try to achieve as much as they could. Why do these young people so often end up in low-status, poorly paid jobs? Is it that they don't set their sights high enough? The study criticized car makers for setting their sights too low and with being content to build cars which are just adequate. Note: This expression are also used literally to say that someone is looking at a target through the sights of a gun.
See also: on, set, sight, something
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

set your sights on

have as an ambition; hope strongly to achieve or reach.
1996 Home Within ten minutes I had made an offer…But another couple has also set their sights on the cottage, so sealed bids were submitted.
See also: on, set, sight
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

set your ˈsights on something/on doing something

,

have your sights ˈset on something/on doing something

try to achieve or get something: She’s set her sights on an Olympic gold.He has his sights on owning the biggest property company in the USA.
You look through the sights of a gun to aim at the target.
See also: on, set, sight, something
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

set (one's) sights on

To have as a goal: She set her sights on medical school.
See also: on, set, sight
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

set one's sights on, to

To select as one’s goal. The sights in this expression are a device such as a pair of knobs or notches placed on a firearm to help one take aim. The figurative use dates from the mid-twentieth century and also appears in such phrases as to raise one’s sights, meaning to aim higher, or to lower one’s sights, meaning to be somewhat less ambitious. The Economist used it on December 9, 1950, “The United States must now raise its sights, in terms of both manpower and production.”
See also: set, sight, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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