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firing line

  1. the positions at which troops are stationed to fire upon the enemy or targets.
  2. the troops firing from this line.
the forefront of any action or activity, especially a controversy.
Origin of firing line
1880-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for firing-line
Historical Examples
  • Imagine, now, you have begun walking back along the firing-line, going from the extreme right to the left.

    Australia in Arms Phillip F.E. Schuler
  • To go up the road from here to the firing-line is a great experience.

  • Half a mile back from the firing-line we turned off to the left and took our way by a road running parallel to the trenches.

    The Red Horizon Patrick MacGill
  • Garrison had been on the firing-line for so long that his nerve was frayed to ribbons.

    Garrison's Finish W. B. M. Ferguson
  • The Jocks, bombing their way through from the firing-line, very soon took care of them, though some Huns got away in the dark.

    Fighting the Boche Underground Harry Davis Trounce
  • He had come in from the firing-line, and had incompletely dodged a stone.

    "Wee Tim'rous Beasties" Douglas English
  • The ruins of an old mill located just behind our firing-line was suspected of having a cave under it.

    Fighting the Boche Underground Harry Davis Trounce
  • It is probably impossible to have them playing close to the firing-line.

    A Padre in France George A. Birmingham
  • But it was too late; all the rifles were in use in the firing-line.

  • From Caribou Ridge the Turks could enfilade parts of our firing-line.

British Dictionary definitions for firing-line

firing line

  1. the positions from which fire is delivered
  2. the soldiers occupying these positions
the leading or most advanced position in an activity
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
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