The world's premier FREE educational website for learners + teachers of English

set your sights on

This page is about the idiom set your sights on


If you set your sights on something, or set your sights on doing something, it becomes the target of your ambition or the object of your attention.

For example

  • Stanley has set his sights on coaching Liverpool, so he'll start getting to know people who have influence in the club.

  • Microsoft has set its sights on one of the biggest search engine companies, so I wouldn't be surprised if the company's shares go up.

This idiom can also be expressed as "has its sights set on", "has her sights set on", "have their sights set on", and so on.

Origin: Metaphorical, and related to the fact that a person using a gun looks through the gun's sights in order to aim, and will have his sights set on the target before shooting at it.

Quick Quiz

Jerome has set his sights on a gold medal in the Olympics, so he's

a. training hard

b. going to shoot it

c. saving up to buy it

Idiom of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey