on the nose


Exactly, precisely; especially, at the appointed time or estimated amount. For example, The busload of students arrived at the museum at ten o'clock right on the nose, or He guessed the final score on the nose. This term, like on the button, may come from boxing, where the opponent's nose is a highly desired target. [c. 1930]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.