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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

hold someone's feet to the fire

Slang definitions & phrases for hold someone's feet to the fire

hold someone's feet to the fire

verb phrase

To subject someone to strong and painful persuasion; use maximum pressure: helping hold the President's feet to the fire (1980s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with hold someone's feet to the fire

hold someone's feet to the fire

Also, keep someone's feet to the fire . Pressure someone to consent to or undertake something, as in The only way you'll get him to agree is to hold his feet to the fire . This idiom alludes to an ancient test of courage or form of torture in which a person's feet were so placed. It began to be used figuratively in the second half of the 1900s. Also see hold a gun to someone's head
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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