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get tough with

Become harsh, severe, unyielding with someone. For example, We have to get tough with these people or we'll get nowhere. [ c. 1930 ]
The American HeritageĀ® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright Ā© 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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