aimed or fired straight at the mark especially from close range; direct.
straightforward, plain, or explicit: a point-blank denial.


with a direct aim; directly; straight.
bluntly; frankly: She told him point-blank that he was not welcome.

Origin of point-blank

First recorded in 1565–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for point-blank

direct, frank, plain, straight, blunt, close, plainly, unqualified, unreserved

Examples from the Web for point-blank

Contemporary Examples of point-blank

Historical Examples of point-blank

  • Therefore, none of the posse would have a point-blank shot at him.

  • He might not have answered, or liked it, had I fired the question at him point-blank.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • The chief refused at first, point-blank, to be a party to any such proceedings.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • The firing, at point-blank range, was so furious that the men's clothing was ignited.

    The Downfall

    Emile Zola

  • Accordingly he sent to Pharnabazus and put it to him point-blank: Which will you have, peace or war?



British Dictionary definitions for point-blank



  1. aimed or fired at a target so close that it is unnecessary to make allowance for the drop in the course of the projectile
  2. permitting such aim or fire without loss of accuracyat point-blank range
plain or blunta point-blank question


directly or straight
plainly or bluntly

Word Origin for point-blank

C16: from point + blank (in the sense: centre spot of an archery target)
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

Word Origin and History for point-blank

1570s, from point (v.) + blank (n.), the white center of a target. The notion is of standing close enough to aim (point) at the blank without allowance for curve, windage, or gravity. From 1590s as an adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper