draw the line

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draw the line

1. To establish a figurative boundary that someone or some group refuses to cross or beyond which no further advance or compromise is accepted. I don't mind my roommate being a bit messy, but leaving dirty dishes for me to clean up is where I draw the line!
2. To clearly separate or create boundaries for two things. If you're going to work closely with your wife, you really need to draw the line between your professional life and your personal life.
See also: draw, line

draw the line (at something)

to set a limit at something; to decide when a limit has been reached. You can make as much noise as you want, but I draw the line at fighting. It's hard to keep young people under control, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
See also: draw, line

draw the line

COMMON
1. If someone knows where to draw the line, they know at what point an activity or situation stops being reasonable and starts to be unacceptable. It is difficult for charities to know where to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable sources of finance. Where do you draw the line about who the press can and can't investigate?
2. If you draw the line at a particular activity, you would not do it, because you disapprove of it or because it is so extreme. I'll do almost anything — although I think I'd draw the line at running naked across the stage! I have to draw the line somewhere. I refuse to go in for spiritualism. Note: There are several theories about the origin of this expression. It may come from early versions of tennis, in which the court had no fixed size: players agreed their own limits and drew lines accordingly. Alternatively, it may be connected with the 16th century practice of using a plough to cut a line across a field to indicate a boundary between two plots of land. A third possibility is that it refers to boxing matches in the past, when a line was drawn in the ring which neither boxer could cross. `Cross the line' may be based on a similar idea.
See also: draw, line

draw the ˈline (at something)

refuse to do or accept something: I don’t mind cooking dinner for you occasionally, but I draw the line at ironing your shirts!He refused to tolerate her lies any longer. The line had to be drawn somewhere.
See also: draw, line

draw the line

1. To decide firmly an arbitrary boundary between two things: "Where do you draw the line between your own decisions and those of your superiors?" (Robert Marion).
2. To decide firmly the limit of what one will tolerate or participate in: The officer committed fraud but drew the line at blackmail.
See also: draw, line
References in classic literature ?
Daughtry had a sense that the cook, whose name had been quickly volunteered as Ah Moy, was not entirely satisfied with the arrangement; but it affected him no more than a momentary curiosity about a Chinaman who drew the line at a dog taking a bunk in the same apartment with him.
I drew the line at the "Veiled Prophet of Khorassan," though I had some sense of the humor of the poet's conception of the critic in "Fadladeen.
My father had a gosh-wollickin' temper and never drew the line at heads when he went after tar.
Still, BC drew the line at actually rewriting its policy on non-discrimination, notes Jack Dunn, BC's public information director.
When evaluating the cost of preserving human life versus the bottom do you answer the victims's family when you have to explain that you drew the line, Dudonis said, "you must evaluate what realistically can be done.
Where "Suicaine Gratifaction" drew the line between the past and the future, "Stereo/Mono" clearly finds Westerberg bearing his poetic soul, coming to terms with adulthood and reclaiming his status as one of the most talented singer/songwriters in American rock music, while simultaneously embracing the finger-to-authority punk rock-n-roll kid inside.
flag on Glendale buildings if the president or governor issued a press release, proclamation or executive order to lower them at the state and national capitols - but Councilman Bob Yousefian said he drew the line there.
Clinton drew the line at a suggestion to converse with Jesus Christ, saying that would be ``too personal.