point blank

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The distance between a gun and a target such that it requires minimal effort in aiming it. In particular no allowance needs to be made for the effects of gravity, target movement or wind in aiming the projectile.

Etymology:

  • Derived from old English longbow practices: a common target was the white skull of a bull, and the greatest skill could be illustrated by getting a "bull's eye". When the archer is far from the target, the arrow must be pointed high, due to the arched trajectory of an arrow. When the archer is very close to the target, then they may point directly, without aiming above the white bull's skull, hence "pointing at the white", or "point blanc" as it was stated in French in those times. The term is now an established military term, "point blank" range, or the distance at which a firearm can be directly aimed at the target without consideration of the arched trajectory.
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Submitted on September 01, 2009

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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to point blank

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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"point blank." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 1 Apr. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/point-blank_6172>.

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