Definition of rake (or haul) someone over the coals in US English:

rake (or haul) someone over the coals

phrase

  • Reprimand someone severely.

    • ‘We got hauled over the coals by management for it - even though all the evidence showed us to be in the right.’
    • ‘Yesterday the Assistant Speaker spent a lot of time in the House hauling me over the coals for apparently using unparliamentary language.’
    • ‘If a player steps out of line then he gets hauled over the coals by the FA.’
    • ‘The bank was hauled over the coals last year for mortgage redemption penalties which left homeowners facing bills of tens of thousands of pounds.’
    • ‘Having been hauled over the coals by both the media and the Treasury Select Committee for its disastrous investment policy, he is now determined to rebuild the firm's reputation.’
    • ‘I would hope Bertie has hauled him over the coals and, if he hasn't, it shouldn't be too late even now for him to do so.’
    admonish, reprimand, rebuke, scold, reprove, upbraid, chastise, chide, censure, castigate, lambaste, berate, reproach, lecture, criticize, take to task, pull up, read the riot act to, give a piece of one's mind to
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