at close range
Very nearby, as in At close range, the rock band was unbearably loud. Derived from shooting—range denotes the distance that missile or projectile can be made to travel—this expression soon came to mean anything in close proximity.
Read more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Why do sounds close to “mama” appear in so many languages?
Mother, maman, mommy, amma, mama, em, mum, mamma, mutter, mare, maty, ana . . . Across languages an uncanny pattern appears for the word “mother.” Why? Is it evidence of universal language? Is this evidence of sound symbolism at work, when a phoneme (sound) has meaning completely unto itself? If you are a linguist, baby talk is not a cute and meaning-lite semi-language used with …
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.