A post explains "right here" this way

is usually used when the location is very specific, within reaching distance, and can be pointed to directly

which uses the phrase "within reaching distance"

In another post ("here" vs. "over here" in an area of an eye), a contributor uses a similar phrase

In simple terms, 'over here' means 'within your reach'. Over here means near you - From Collins English dictionary.

I guess "within my reach" and "within my reaching distance" mean the same thing.

"within" means

inside or not further than an area or period of time

I guess "reach" in this context means "see", the whole thing means the whole area I can see.

Given the post is based an image of the surface of an eye, "within my reach" means the whole image/screenshot, is my understanding right? Could someone please give a hint? Thanks in advance.

  • : close enough to be touched or picked up by someone merriam-webster.com/dictionary/within%20someone%27s%20reach
    – Void
    Apr 3, 2020 at 9:27
  • @DecapitatedSoul Thank you. That is the definition of it. In the context of that image of eye, is my understanding about "within my reach" right in this post?
    – WXJ96163
    Apr 3, 2020 at 9:32
  • 2
    @WXJ96163: No. reach has absolutely nothing to do with seeing. In its literal meaning it is about the things that you can move your arm to touch with your hand. It does have metaphorical extensions, but i can't think of any which involve sight.
    – Colin Fine
    Apr 3, 2020 at 10:20
  • @ColinFine Rather than posting an answer as a comment, please post an answer, or vote or comment on the existing answer.
    – IMSoP
    Apr 3, 2020 at 12:11

1 Answer 1


We're into the realms of metaphor and slang here, so don't expect things to be precise or logical.

At its most literal, "within reach" means "within the area you could get to by reaching out with your arms". We also use "reach" slightly less precisely to mean "get to", and "within reach" to mean "fairly easy/quick to get to"; so "the house is within reach of the sea" means "you can get from the house to the sea in a reasonable amount of time".

We can then take either of those and use them metaphorically to refer to completely different scales. You could see "within reach of the mouse cursor" as meaning "imagine you are the mouse cursor, and you're stretching out your arms" or possibly that you're taking a few steps in each direction to "reach" different parts of the image.

It's important not to overthink this, though - people use metaphors like this instinctively and don't necessarily have a precise measurement in mind.

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