What does the idiom "deal a blow to" mean?

The expression deal a blow to is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the deal a blow to idiom.

Meaning of "deal a blow to"


The idiomatic phrase 'deal a blow to' signifies a powerful, negative effect on somebody or something. It implies an action or event that has an overwhelming impact on the person or thing in question, causing it to suffer a severe setback or decline. The phrase can be used to describe anything from a physical strike to a mental or emotional blow, or a financial or commercial hit.


The phrase 'deal a blow to' is believed to have originated in the early 1600s. It is derived from the Old English 'blōwan', which means to strike or beat. This original phrase became 'blow a deal' as it evolved into its modern usage, and its meaning came to be associated with other types of damage beyond physical strikes.


The phrase 'deal a blow to' can be used in a variety of contexts. It can be used to describe a physical action, such as when an athlete or fighter 'deals a blow', meaning they hit an opponent or object. It is also used to describe an event or occurrence that causes a significant impact, such as when a natural disaster 'deals a blow' to a community. It may also be used to refer to a setback or decline in one's fortunes, such as when a change in government policy 'deals a blow' to businesses in a particular industry.

Example Sentences

  • The devastating hurricane dealt a blow to the local economy.
  • The financial loss dealt a blow to the company's bottom line.
  • The scandal dealt a blow to her reputation.
  • The fighter dealt a powerful blow to his opponent.
  • The new tax regulations dealt a blow to small business owners.

The meanings of the words in the "deal a blow to" idiom

The power of idioms transcends languages!

"Putting the cart before the horse" is an English idiom that means doing things in the wrong order. In Russian, the similar idiom is "Кладёт колесо впереди лошади," which translates to "Putting the cart before the horse." This idiom emphasizes the idea that doing things in the wrong order can lead to confusion and problems down the line.


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