take lying down

Idioms & Phrases

take lying down

Submit to an insult, rebuke, or other harsh treatment without resisting, as in He won't take that snub lying down. This idiom uses lying down in the sense of "passively." [Late 1800s] Also see take it, def. 2.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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