Definition of toe the line in English:

toe the line


  • Accept the authority, policies, or principles of a particular group, especially unwillingly.

    ‘he knew that he had to toe the official line because he couldn't afford to be put on the dole’
    • ‘It is concerned with landing on the right theology and doctrine and making sure everyone else toes the line.’
    • ‘These types are stumbling over themselves to conform and toe the line.’
    • ‘It was my perception that I was being sent a signal of how things might be if I didn't toe the line.’
    • ‘In Aberdeen, smokers and landlords appeared to be toeing the line.’
    • ‘Well, it appears she has a firmer grasp on these values than those who desire to see debate one-sided and stifled, while reserving intimidation tactics for those who refuse to meekly toe the line.’
    • ‘Now, that said, Brown has made some attempts at toeing the line.’
    • ‘We toed the line for a few days, then ignored him.’
    • ‘And I think that you really have to toe the line and be very careful.’
    • ‘Watson is still under intense pressure to resign after the revelation that he breached the strict rule of collective responsibility which forces members of the government to toe the line on policy.’
    • ‘Radio stations are pretty much forced to toe the line since they rely heavily on record companies for ad dollars and listener-grabbing perks like contests, interviews and concerts.’
    conform, follow convention, be conventional, follow tradition, follow custom, fit in, adapt, adjust, follow the crowd, run with the pack, swim with the stream
    conform, obey the rules, comply with the rules, observe the rules, abide by the rules, adhere to the rules, act in accordance with the rules, follow the rules, keep to the rules, stick to the rules
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