bring to heel(redirected from call to 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.
bring somebody to heel(slightly formal)
to force someone to obey you Western politicians opposed the president's effort to bring the Supreme Court to heel.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of bring to heel (to order a dog to walk close behind you)
bring/call somebody to heel
to force someone to obey you He decided that threatening to sue the publishers was the easiest way of bringing them to 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]