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purse strings

the right or power to manage the disposition of money:
in control of the family purse strings.
hold the purse strings, to have the power to determine how money shall be spent.
loosen / tighten the purse strings, to increase or decrease expenditures or the availability of money:
The budget committee is in the process of tightening the purse strings.
Origin of purse strings
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for purse strings
  • Its leaders must make its value crystal clear to those who control the purse strings.
  • Those who hold the purse strings can shape the narrative anyway they wish in the information age.
  • They are, you know, they ones who actually control the purse strings.
  • It won't be easy-it will require changes in purse strings and priorities.
  • With purse strings being pulled tighter than ever, finding the right look for the right price is key.
  • The coming together of three strong minds can be difficult to achieve, particularly when purse strings come into play.
  • By the same token, a move to another country may pull your purse strings too tightly for comfort.
  • Something has to give, and the paper is hoping it will be its readers' purse strings.
  • More parents are also controlling the purse strings and moving down-market for pants and shoes.
  • Giving patients partial control of the purse strings commented.
British Dictionary definitions for purse strings

purse strings

plural noun
control of finance or expenditure (esp in such phrases as hold or control the purse strings)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with purse strings

purse strings

Financial resources or control of them, as in His mother doesn't want to let go of the purse strings because he may make some foolish investments. This expression is often extended to hold or tighten or loosen the purse strings, as in As long as Dad holds the purse strings, we have to consider his wishes, or The company is tightening the purse strings and will not be hiring many new people this year. The purse strings in this idiom are the means of opening and closing a drawstring purse. [ Early 1400s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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