Definition of pin someone down in English:

pin someone down

phrasal verb

  • Force someone to be specific or make a commitment.

    ‘he's very hard to pin down’
    • ‘We tried twice, unsuccessfully, to pin McClure down on a commitment to exclusively market-driven solutions, but he only reiterated his bullet points.’
    • ‘The amendments are sure to appear at some stage and they will be resisted, but the first thing to do now is to pin ministers down during the debate tomorrow and get them to admit what they are planning.’
    • ‘When Sawyer finally pinned him down, exasperated he came out with this gem.’
    • ‘In the reconnaissance business, it is more important to push aside or obscure the observation of an enemy scout, rather than destroy him, unless a collector is pinned down and hope of extrication is slim.’
    • ‘Earlier she told councillors the suggestion to pin people down to one or two specified times a week was not realistic.’
    • ‘When I arrive he hands me a CV of his glittering business career but, curiously, his birthdate is missing and he will be pinned down to nothing more than being a 60-something.’
    • ‘Surprisingly, although it was difficult to pin him down to a specific century, it was possible to see that his diet had contained a lot of fish.’
    • ‘He was, however, very careful to avoid the word ‘crisis,’ which another Democrat was trying very hard to pin him down on.’
    • ‘Megumi wasn't a heavy drinker at all, but today wasn't about following the rules she had been pinned down to by her life.’
    • ‘Actually, I bet if you pinned him down, he'd say anyone who wasn't a carbon copy of himself was ‘rubbish’, so probably in his world view there are half a dozen people aren't.’
    • ‘He is also broke, trying to pay his mortgage and live a simple life whenever he is not pinned down by investigators for tax evasion.’
    • ‘With all this mixing of reality and fiction - an actor playing a musician, an actor playing an actor, a singer on film soundtracks - you'd be hard pressed to pin Tucker down.’
    • ‘‘I was one of the first to be born on dry land,’ Wood elaborates three days later, when the restless Rolling Stone can be pinned down for a proper interview at his house in Kingston upon Thames.’
    • ‘Hoggard bridled at a suggestion that England have worked hard on pinning Tendulkar down, saying: ‘I get tired of hearing about him.’’
    • ‘There is just no substitute for having someone who thoroughly disagrees with you pin you down and force you to defend each and every one of your assertions.’
    • ‘The chronology he gives pins him down at 27; yet his childhood reminiscences about watching Magpie and eating Marmite suggest an earlier generation - his mum even remembers the Second World War.’
    • ‘The records of his life don't help much in pinning Marlowe down, either.’
    • ‘I've never really tried to pin a man down about walking up the aisle, or wanted a wedding dress.’
    • ‘In real life, however, it would be hard to pin her down to two personalities.’
    make someone commit themselves, constrain, force, compel, pressure, put pressure on, pressurize, tie down, nail down
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