body blow

body blow

noun Boxing.
1.
a blow driven to the opponent's body between the breastbone and the navel.
2.
any action that causes severe damage, losses, etc.: Our business received a body blow in the recession.

Origin:
1785–95

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World English Dictionary
body blow
 
n
1.  boxing Also called: body punch a blow to the body of an opponent
2.  a severe disappointment or setback: unavailability of funds was a body blow to the project

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

body blow

An action that causes severe damage, as in This last recession dealt a body blow to our whole industry. This term comes from boxing, where since the 18th century it has been used to refer to a punch that is landing between the opponent's chest and navel. [c. 1900]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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