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body blow

noun, Boxing.
a blow driven to the opponent's body between the breastbone and the navel.
any action that causes severe damage, losses, etc.:
Our business received a body blow in the recession.
Origin of body blow
First recorded in 1785-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for body blow
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Biddy was the very pink of pugnacity, and could throw in a body blow, or plant a facer, with singular energy and science.

  • This in his own paper over his own signature was a body blow; but it had the effect of curing his cold.

  • Diving low he hit Harror a body blow with his shoulder and the giant doubled in pain.

  • Retail merchandising tradition in New York suffered a body blow some years ago when Macy's sent them upstairs.

    The Romance of a Great Store Edward Hungerford
  • Never before had Epworth driven a body blow with such terrific force.

    The Moon Colony William Dixon Bell
  • Suspicion was pounding at him like a body blow that is repeated accurately and relentlessly in the same vulnerable spot.

  • I can hardly exaggerate the body blow to the Service such a decision would give.

    The Rules of the Game Stewart Edward White
British Dictionary definitions for body blow

body blow

(boxing) Also called body punch. a blow to the body of an opponent
a severe disappointment or setback: unavailability of funds was a body blow to the project
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with body blow

body blow

An action that causes severe damage, as in This last recession dealt a body blow to our whole industry. This term comes from boxing, where since the 18th century it has been used to refer to a punch that is landing between the opponent's chest and navel. [ c. 1900 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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