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firing line

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noun
  1. Military.
    1. the positions at which troops are stationed to fire upon the enemy or targets.
    2. the troops firing from this line.
  2. the forefront of any action or activity, especially a controversy.
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Origin of firing line

First recorded in 1880–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for firing line

Historical Examples

  • Before the week is out I am expecting to go right up into the firing-line.

    War Letters of a Public-School Boy

    Paul Jones.

  • To go up the road from here to the firing-line is a great experience.

  • The other day I was ordered to visit a certain battery in the firing-line.

  • Garrison had been on the firing-line for so long that his nerve was frayed to ribbons.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

  • He had come in from the firing-line, and had incompletely dodged a stone.


British Dictionary definitions for firing line

firing line

noun
  1. military
    1. the positions from which fire is delivered
    2. the soldiers occupying these positions
  2. the leading or most advanced position in an activity
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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