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apron strings

plural noun
the strings on an apron, used for securing it around one's person.
tie to someone's apron strings, to make or be dependent on or dominated by someone:
He has never married because he's tied to his mother's apron strings.
Origin of apron strings
1535-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for apron-strings
Historical Examples
  • I hope you are not one of the foolish women, Mary, that like to keep their boys always at their apron-strings?

    Madonna Mary Mrs. Oliphant
  • The apron-strings of an American mother are made of India-rubber.

    The Professor at the Breakfast Table Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.)
  • Ten minutes ago I would have sworn I was your guardian; whereas, it seems your apron-strings are the reins that rule me.

    Vashti Augusta J. Evans Wilson
  • There's not a word ever passed between us that ties me to your apron-strings.

    Americans All Various
  • If we agree to tie ourselves to your apron-strings, Verny, will you feel resigned to our going?

    Girl Scouts in the Rockies Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • Mam' Lyddy tightened her apron-strings about her stout waist.

    Mam' Lyddy's Recognition Thomas Nelson Page
  • He wastes his life and energies away among us, tied to our apron-strings.

    The History of Pendennis William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Mothers are all like that when you cut loose from their apron-strings.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • He watched the handsome crouching of her back, and the apron-strings curling on the floor.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • "I will never be tied to a woman's apron-strings," he had said.

    A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot
Idioms and Phrases with apron-strings

apron strings

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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