set one's sights on, to

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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 (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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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