striking distance

EnglishEdit

NounEdit

striking distance (plural striking distances)

  1. (military) A distance at which a soldier, military force, vessel, etc. is sufficiently near to be able to attack an opponent.
    • 1845, James Fenimore Cooper, Satanstoe, ch. 19:
      "Nay, sir, a soldier, who is about to be posted within striking distance of his enemy, can never speak, with confidence, of separations that are to be short."
    • 1900, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Great Boer War, ch. 19:
      The two brigades at either end of the Boer lines had lost no chance of pushing in, and now they had come within striking distance.
  2. (figuratively, by extension) A distance at which one is sufficiently near to an objective to have a opportunity to achieve it.
    • 1917, Victor Appleton, Tom Swift in the Land of Wonders, ch. 4:
      I'm working on an invention of a new aeroplane stabilizer, and if I go now it will be just at a time when I am within striking distance of success.
    • 1990, Christopher Redman et al., "Europe An Island No More Hello! Allo!," Time, 12 Nov.:
      The probe breakthrough confirmed that French and British tunnelers were within striking distance of completing the first tunnel under the English Channel.

ReferencesEdit

Last modified on 19 June 2013, at 22:08