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draw fire

Encounter criticism, as in His recent article was bound to draw fire. This expression uses the verb draw in the sense of “attract” or “provoke,” and transfers fire in the sense of “gunfire” to a somewhat milder attack.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for draw fire
Historical Examples
  • As we reached the crest I asked him to ride a little apart, as he would likely draw fire upon the group.

    From Manassas to Appomattox James Longstreet
  • The battery was shaken, but, in truth, continued to draw fire.

  • Verkan Vall gave it a short burst, though it was probably only a dummy, dropped to draw fire.

    Last Enemy Henry Beam Piper
  • Could be a dummy, Neilson was clever at rigging them to draw fire.

    Stalemate Basil Eugene Wells
  • Whatever the reason, at any rate they had covered nearly half the distance before they began to draw fire.

    On Land And Sea At The Dardanelles Thomas Charles Bridges
  • Moreover directly the Tanks appeared, they began to draw fire—which they were not meant to face—and the situation was threatening.

    Fields of Victory Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • A conspicuous "bluff" trench may cause the enemy to waste much ammunition, and draw fire away from the actual defences.

    The Defence of Duffer's Drift Ernest Dunlop Swinton
  • The flint will draw fire from the steel, and at the same time throw open the pan.

    Captured at Tripoli Percy F. Westerman
  • If he'd been doing that, he'd have traded hoods with the dead man before shoving up his body to draw fire.

    The Keeper Henry Beam Piper
  • Its advantage lies in the fact that it offers a less definite target, hence is less likely to draw fire.

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