wide of the mark

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English[edit]

Adjective[edit]

wide of the mark

  1. (of a projectile) Missing the target.
  2. (idiomatic) Inaccurate.
    Well, I suppose you could say the weatherman was wide of the mark again then!
    • 1776 February, “a Lady”, “A Sentimental Journey”, in The Lady's Magazine; or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex, Appropriated Solely to their Use and Enjoyment, London: Printed for G. Robinson, No. 25, Paternoster-Row, OCLC 605231716, page 62, column 2:
      [O]ur conjectures were like arrows ſhot in the dark—they were wide of the mark—till an old gentleman came into the room, who after affixing his ſpectacles on the ſuperior part of an aquiline noſe, told us—"he ſmelt a rat!"
    • 1969, Michael Arlen, Living Room War:
      I do know, though, that the cumulative effect of all these three- and five-minute film clips, with their almost unvarying implicit deference to the importance of purely military solutions (despite a few commentators's disclaimers to the contrary), and with their catering (in part unavoidably) to a popular democracy's insistent desire to view even as unbelievably complicated a war as this one in emotional terms (our guys against their guys), is surely wide of the mark, and is bound to provide these millions of people with an excessively simple, emotional and military-oriented view of what is, at best, a mighty unsimple situation.

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