missing the mark


      • fail to achieve a goal or standard
        Describe when someone's actions or efforts do not meet the intended target or result in failure

      • misunderstand or misinterpret something
        Refer to when someone does not grasp the true meaning or purpose of something, leading to confusion or mistakes

    Examples of missing the mark

    • Despite her best efforts, Sarah's presentation missed the mark.

      Sarah tried extremely hard to deliver a compelling presentation, but it didn't have the desired impact. It fell short of the intended goal or standard.

    • John's joke completely missed the mark, and everyone in the room looked at him in confusion.

      John's humorous anecdote failed to connect with the audience. It didn't hit the target of what was expected or appropriate for the situation.

    • The goalkeeper's attempt to save the penalty kick missed the mark, and the ball rolled into the net.

      The goalkeeper made an effort to save the penalty by jumping in the right direction, but he didn't come close enough to prevent the ball from going in. His attempt was unsuccessful, and the ball passed him by.

    • When asked to give his opinion on the new policy, Tim's response missed the mark, and the boss had to clarify his expectations.

      Tim's response to the boss's query didn't answer the question accurately. It didn't address the issue at hand, and it required further explanation to understand.

    • The sales report that your team presented failed to meet the expectations of the board of directors. They felt that it lacked important details and failed to accurately portray the true state of the company's sales performance, making it clear that the report had missed the mark.

      The phrase "missing the mark" is used when a person or thing falls short of a desired target or goal. In this context, the sales report did not meet the standards set by the board of directors, who felt that it was inadequate in providing them with the necessary information. Essentially, the report missed the mark by failing to accurately represent the sales figures and misleading the board of directors.

    • The singer's off-key performance at the concert left the audience disappointed. The notes she sang were not hitting the right pitch, which caused the audience to feel that the entire performance had missed the mark.

      "Missing the mark" can also be applied to situations where a performance falls short of expectations. In this example, the singer's out-of-tune performance failed to meet the high standards of the audience, who felt that the entire performance missed the mark due to the poor quality of the singing.

    • The marketer's strategy for the new product launch was flawed, and it failed to attract sufficient customers. The company's sales figures remained stagnant, and it became clear that the marketer's efforts had missed the mark.

      "Missing the mark" can also refer to a failure to achieve a specific goal or objective. In this case, the marketer's efforts to launch the new product were unsuccessful, and it became evident that the strategy had missed the mark by failing to attract sufficient customers.

    • The student's test scores fell short of the passing mark, and she failed the exam. She was disappointed with her performance, realizing that she had missed the mark by not meeting the minimum requirements for passing the test.

      "Missing the mark" can be applied to academic situations as well. In this example, the student's test scores were not high enough to meet the passing mark, which resulted in her failing the exam. The student felt that she had missed the mark by not achieving the required grade level.


    The idiom "missing the mark" can be used to describe both a failure to achieve a goal or standard, as well as a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of something. It is often used to express disappointment or frustration when things do not go as planned or when someone does not understand a situation correctly.

    It can be used in various contexts, such as in personal relationships, work, or sports, to highlight when someone falls short of expectations or fails to understand something accurately.

    Origin of "missing the mark"

    The origin of the idiom "missing the mark" can be traced back to ancient archery practices. In archery, the "mark" refers to the target or bullseye that the archer aims to hit. When an archer misses the mark, it means that their arrow did not hit the intended target. Over time, the phrase "missing the mark" evolved to be used in a more metaphorical sense to describe any situation where someone fails to achieve a goal or standard.

    The idiom has been used in literature and language for centuries, and its origins in archery have contributed to its widespread usage in modern English. It has become a common expression to convey the idea of falling short of expectations or failing to understand something accurately.