Body Blow Meaning

(idiomatic, by extension) A serious setback; a traumatizing event which prevents or hinders continuation of an activity.

Example: 1896, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rodney Stone, ch. 11:
  He led at Berks's head, as he came rushing in, and missed him, receiving a severe body blow in return.
1910, Stewart Edward White, The Rules of the Game, ch. 43:
  "I can hardly exaggerate the body blow to the Service such a decision would give. Nobody will believe in it again."
1955 Sep. 5, "Medicine: Cutter Verdict," Time (retrieved 7 April 2014):
  The polio vaccination program took a body blow last spring when the disease developed in children injected with vaccine from the Cutter Laboratories of Berkeley, Calif.
2009 March 21, Mark Mazzetti, "The Downside of Letting Robots Do the Bombing," New York Times (retrieved 7 April 2014):
  [D]rone strikes . . . have delivered body blows to Al Qaeda's leadership in the tribal areas of northern Pakistan without risking a single American soldier on the ground.