Definition of bring someone to heel in US English:

bring someone to heel


  • Bring someone under control.

    • ‘If we don't enforce the Act to that end, then the courts will bring us to heel.’
    • ‘If the perpetrators come from a few districts and some dubious ‘communes’, it's difficult to understand why the forces of law and order have not been able to bring them to heel.’
    • ‘Will I knuckle under and write nothing about the Treasurer that isn't positive, or will a threatening call to my boss's boss be needed to bring me to heel?’
    • ‘This is, of course, hostile to the world of those with ‘abstract reasons’ who wanted him to bring the world to heel.’
    • ‘Where spoilers are identified, peacekeepers must be able to engage in robust and aggressive action to bring them to heel.’
    • ‘The result is an increasingly difficult relationship between the US and British governments on one side and Western journalists, who are not used to being brought to heel, on the other.’
    • ‘Should the Internet be brought to heel now whilst there is still time, or should it be treated like other mediums, such as magazines and videos, in which some uses are deemed a necessary evil?’
    • ‘There was no government watchdog to thank for bringing him to heel.’
    • ‘These are people who, whether they were guilty or not, were targeted by very powerful forces determined to bring them to heel.’
    • ‘Adopted in Britain in 1999, they are now regarded as the only way in which young thugs who terrorise neighbourhoods without actually breaking the law can be brought to heel.’
    • ‘This was the man who had promised the Council of the Wise that he could bring me to heel.’
    • ‘But, on occasion, it was also necessary to bring them to heel.’
    • ‘When a similar party (Austrian Freedom Party) became a coalition partner in Austria, the EU took immediate action to bring them to heel.’
    • ‘If youngsters and teenagers are so out of control that we have to roll up our streets at midnight just to bring them to heel, we've missed the point.’
    • ‘I doubt it, but it is good to see ordinary citizens rising up, through the criminal justice system, to bring the Democratic Party to heel.’
    subjugate, conquer, vanquish, defeat, crush, quell, quash, gain mastery over, gain ascendancy over, gain control of, bring under the yoke, bring someone to their knees, overcome, overpower
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