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bring to heel

Force to obey, subjugate. For example, The prisoners were quickly brought to heel. This term transfers commanding a dog to come close behind its master to similar control over human beings or affairs. [ Second half of 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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