bring (someone) to heel

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bring (someone) to heel

To force someone to obey one's wishes or commands; to make someone act in accordance with one's authority. The CEO was quick to bring the junior board member to heel after the latter spoke out of turn at the annual general meeting. Sir, the members of your squad are all out of control. You need to bring them to heel right away!
See also: bring, heel

bring someone to heel

Fig. to cause someone to act in a disciplined fashion; to force someone to act in a more disciplined manner. She tried to bring her husband to heel, but he had a mind of his own. He was brought to heel by his demanding wife.
See also: bring, heel

bring to heel

Force to obey, subjugate. For example, The prisoners were quickly brought to heel. This term transfers commanding a dog to come close behind its master to similar control over human beings or affairs. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: bring, heel

bring someone to heel

or

call someone to heel

COMMON If you bring someone to heel or call them to heel, you make them obey you. The king was determined to bring his rebellious subjects to heel. Others question whether he really holds such power over the president, who has been known to call him to heel at times. Note: The image here is of a person making their dog walk obediently at their side.
See also: bring, heel, someone
References in periodicals archive ?
After the brats scare off 17 different nannies, he hires Emma Thompson's frightening wart-faced child-minder, who uses magic to bring them to heel.
It's a common knowledge that the game and the default position is to use human rights as a cudgel to cobble together a "united front" of sorts that will isolate Iran and Russia, bring them to heel, force them to become Western-friendly, and accept their hegemony, or in the wildest pipe dreams of strategic planners, "to bring down the regimes.
No conscience, no empathy, we can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.
Western leaders ramped up their rhetoric against ISIS, but offered little in the way of a meaningful strategy to bring them to heel.
Sabahi's implied criticism of the judiciary has won him few friends among judges who stood strong against Mursi's attempts to bring them to heel.
Both Yadav and Mayawati have CBI corruption cases hanging over them, raising suspicions that these are being used to bring them to heel.
THIS series teams up owners with working dogs and their handlers to bring them to heel.
Hendershot finds that the magazines solve this dilemma by equating adolescent empowerment with restraint but also with therapeutic talk, being conscious of one's feelings, presumably to bring them to heel.
AN ATTACK on a North Wales teenager, leaving him with life threatening injuries, shows young yobs need to be named and shamed to bring them to heel, a Cabinet minister said yesterday.
But with 13 mistresses in his lifetime, he must have wished he could bring them to heel as easily as he could his beloved dogs.
And the power brokers have ways of torturing people -- through professional and personal ostracism, or other retaliation -- to bring them to heel.
After the brats scare off 17 different nannies, he hires Emma Thompson's scary wartfaced child minder, who uses magic to bring them to heel.
Turkey, in my view, is out of control and some nation is going to have to bring them to heel," he said.
Even some uncharacteristically bungled running between the wickets could not bring them to heel as Patel failed to take the bails off with Mustard in full retreat.
Those who wish for a government which serves the rich and powerful rather than tries, albeit late and too feebly, to bring them to heel.