Online Dictionary

at a blow Explained

At a blow at English => English (Websters 1913) Of Explained:

Blow \Blow\, n. [OE. blaw, blowe; cf. OHG. bliuwan, pliuwan, to
beat, G. bl["a]uen, Goth. bliggwan.]
1. A forcible stroke with the hand, fist, or some instrument,
as a rod, a club, an ax, or a sword.

Well struck ! there was blow for blow. --Shak.

2. A sudden or forcible act or effort; an assault.

A vigorous blow might win [Hanno's camp]. --T.

3. The infliction of evil; a sudden calamity; something which
produces mental, physical, or financial suffering or loss
(esp. when sudden); a buffet.

A most poor man, made tame to fortune's blows.

{At a blow}, suddenly; at one effort; by a single vigorous
act. ``They lose a province at a blow.'' --Dryden.

{To come to blows}, to engage in combat; to fight; -- said of
individuals, armies, and nations.

Syn: Stroke; knock; shock; misfortune.