cross·​hair ˈkrȯs-ˌher How to pronounce crosshair (audio)
: a fine wire or thread in the focus of the eyepiece of an optical instrument used as a reference line in the field or for marking the instrumental axis
used figuratively to describe someone or something being targeted as if through an aiming device having crosshairs
… in the crosshairs this political seasonJ. H. Alter

Examples of crosshair in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Now, some of China’s most zealous online nationalists have a new target in their crosshairs: the country’s first officially recognized Nobel laureate. Nectar Gan, CNN, 11 Mar. 2024 Some 22 services, from operating systems to messenger apps and social media platforms, will be in the DMA’s crosshairs. Kelvin Chan, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 Mar. 2024 Here's a look at how the Digital Markets Act will work: Some 22 services, from operating systems to messenger apps and social media platforms, will be in the DMA's crosshairs. Kelvin Chan, Quartz, 6 Mar. 2024 Nicki Minaj is on a warpath and Megan Thee Stallion is in her crosshairs. Shania Russell,, 29 Jan. 2024 This marks the second DSA investigation after Elon Musk’s social media platform X found itself in the EU’s crosshairs in December last year. Reuters, NBC News, 20 Feb. 2024 One second-division game last Friday saw fans attach to the goalposts thick metal bicycle locks and display a banner showing a club executive's face in crosshairs. James Ellingworth, USA TODAY, 15 Feb. 2024 Noticeably missing from the prosecution’s crosshairs are the producers of the low-budget Western, outside of Baldwin. Rebecca Keegan, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Feb. 2024 Lying just a few kilometers north of Donetsk airport, captured by Russian forces in early 2015 after months of periodically heavy fighting, Avdiivka has been firmly in Moscow’s crosshairs ever since. Andrew Carey, CNN, 10 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crosshair.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1884, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crosshair was circa 1884

Dictionary Entries Near crosshair

Cite this Entry

“Crosshair.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

cross hair

: one of the very thin wires or threads in the eyepiece of an optical instrument (as a microscope) used as a reference line
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