I was reading this article.


Years after the death of his father at the hands of a U.S. Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan, it is now Hamza bin Laden who finds himself squarely in the crosshairs of world powers.

I consulted dictionaries and googled too and most of the definitions were same as Merrian Unabridged puts it,

: one of the fine wires or spider lines mounted as a reticle in the focus of the eyepiece of optical instruments and used as a reference line in the field or for marking the instrumental axis

But only this dictionary, no, the thesaurus, helped me understand article correctly.

Noun 1. crosshairs - a center of interest; "the war on terrorism has put Saddam Hussein in the crosshairs"

Is this word, "crosshair", a not frequently used word but some kind of slang type word?

Thank you in advance.


It is a perfectly valid technical term used for the lines on a certain type of targeting reticle, used to aim weapons. It is used here metaphorically, to suggest that someone has the person "in their sights", that they are in some way "aiming at them".

  • Thanks. I think it was my mistake that I almost skipped Merriam's definitions only because it is a bit difficult. Thanks! – Kentaro Mar 17 at 15:02

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