Definition of point-blank in US English:

point-blank

adjective & adverb

  • 1as adjective (of a shot, bullet, or other missile) fired from very close to its target.

    ‘the weapon was inaccurate beyond point-blank range’
    • ‘A catapult fired point-blank, and flames broke over the roiled water, but it was pointless.’
    • ‘Two point-blank shots are enough to destroy almost any vehicle.’
    • ‘Jarod stared in disbelief, then raised his weapon and fired point-blank at Gabriel's chest.’
    • ‘In the presence of the German military attaché, one of these CHEKA officials fired five shots almost point-blank at the ambassador.’
    • ‘In the blur of combat, he goes from heroic marksman to summary executioner, at one point preparing to finish off a disarmed youth with a point-blank shot.’
    • ‘She pulled away at the last second, firing one, two, three shots point-blank into my side.’
    • ‘The troubles in Limerick city continue with the point-blank shooting of a 30-year-old in Moyross by two masked gunmen.’
    • ‘Another argument erupted, and one of the men pulled out a gun from his waist and fired at Jack at point-blank range.’
    • ‘He fired point-blank into the ant's thorax, blowing the creature in half.’
    • ‘Firing at point-blank range, roughly one hundred militia men killed one of their opponents.’
    • ‘Switching to its cannon, Stephanie attempted to deliver a point-blank shot, which would be within the MW field's range.’
    • ‘As soon as Kevin gave the order, they would fire at point-blank range at every ship that they could.’
    • ‘Why is it I'm dying from a shotgun blast from 10 feet away or so, but when I get a point-blank shot, people decidedly do not die?’
    • ‘Alice knew they would wait until she was at point-blank range before opening fire.’
    • ‘The new vest includes two 1.5kg inserts that protect the vital organs against 9mm submachine gun fire at point-blank range.’
    • ‘There was a vicious exchange at Stokesay castle, where adversaries fired at point-blank range between the castle and the church.’
    • ‘He fired point-blank at the grinning skull resting against the doorpost.’
    • ‘A few minutes before the sunset and without firing any warning shots in the air or without prior effort to disperse the crowds gathered there, fire was opened from point-blank range at the assemblage.’
    • ‘Joshua screamed as another three soldiers came into the room and fired, point-blank, into the creature's stomach.’
    • ‘Before opening the vehicle, the police fired into it at point-blank range killing the boy.’
    at very close range, at point-blank range, close up, close to
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    1. 1.1 (of a statement or question) blunt and direct; without explanation or qualification.
      as adverb ‘he refuses point-blank to be photographed or give interviews’
      as adjective ‘this point-blank refusal to discuss the issue’
      • ‘I can't really identify what any of my boyfriends and I have had in common, but it was the first time someone had asked me point-blank, and I couldn't answer.’
      • ‘Nancy, I'm saying in mid-January, the police were asked the question point-blank, and they said yes, he's cooperating.’
      • ‘If Mother couldn't open up to Christina, especially in the face of a point-blank question, she couldn't open up to anyone.’
      • ‘But in an hour-long press conference which largely retrod the argument of yesterday's announcement, both men refused point-blank to comment on rumours of a new pact to pass the Labour leadership in return for entry to the euro.’
      • ‘I asked her point-blank whether she could get this message understood by her siblings.’
      • ‘I speak my mind, just like that, nakedly right out there in the open, shockingly point-blank in front of everybody.’
      • ‘But in the face of a furious grilling from a clutch of increasingly bewildered MPs - including Motherwell and Wishaw's Frank Roy - he refused point-blank to tell them the correct number to dial.’
      • ‘‘Then they told me that they wanted to ‘age’ the photographs of the man so I refused point-blank to let them have them.’’
      • ‘And according to Helen Donovan, it's been made all the more difficult by the point-blank refusal to establish an International Crimes Tribunal.’
      • ‘A general strike, Leon Trotsky once wrote, poses the question of power point-blank.’
      • ‘As we were dancing, I thought how reassuring it was that Scott sensed my discomfort and instead of point-blank saying ‘Get over him,’ he tried to be more of the shoulder to cry on.’
      • ‘No such luck; I was met with a point-blank refusal.’
      • ‘There was not an untrue word in the sentence, but it was not a point-blank denial.’
      • ‘And they got the point-blank answer from the North Koreans that, yes, they were and, in effect, what does the U.S. want to do about it?’
      • ‘Such an assessment could be used, for example, to deny point-blank asylum applications from Tamil refugees in Sri Lanka.’
      • ‘During our interview, Tory rode the middle on most issues, qualifying his policy statements with casualness and indifference when questioned point-blank.’
      • ‘What, then, is the status of the direct, point-blank parody of bureaucrats scurrying behind blue blinds?’
      • ‘My brother had claimed Ryan wasn't a liar, but he was elusive so if I wanted to ask him a question, I'd have to do it point-blank.’
      • ‘The strategy could involve a point-blank refusal by landowners to give bodies such as power companies, councils or the Army access to their land.’
      • ‘Even if it's yes, given that I am asked such a point-blank question at a volume audible to the other colleagues, I have to keep up the straight face, put on the steady voice, maintain the poise and give a negative answer.’
      bluntly, directly, straight, straightforwardly, frankly, candidly, forthrightly, openly, explicitly, unequivocally, unambiguously, unmistakably, plainly, clearly, flatly, positively, certainly, decisively, categorically, outright
      blunt, direct, straight, straightforward, straight from the shoulder, frank, candid, forthright, open, explicit, unequivocal, unambiguous, unmistakable, plain, clear, clear-cut, crystal clear, well defined, flat, positive, certain, decisive, unqualified, categorical, outright, downright
      View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century: probably from point + blank in the contemporaneous sense ‘white spot in the center of a target’.

Pronunciation

point-blank

/ˈpɔɪnt ˈˌblæŋk/