draw a line in the sand


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draw a line in the sand

Fig. to create or declare an artificial boundary and imply that crossing it will cause trouble. Todd drew a line in the sand by giving his roommate an ultimatum about his sloppiness—he had to start cleaning up after himself or move out.
See also: draw, line, sand

draw a line in the sand

also draw the line in the sand
to say that a particular idea or activity will not be supported or accepted The president has drawn a line in the sand, which means that if the foreign troops are not removed, they will be attacked.
Etymology: based on the idea of literally making a mark in sand to show someone they cannot move across it
See also: draw, line, sand