hold the line

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hold the line (at someone or something)

Fig. not to exceed a certain limit regarding someone or something. Having your wife on the payroll is one thing, but no one else from the family—I will hold the line at her. We have to hold the line at this kind of expenditure. Okay, we'll hold the line.
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hold the line (on something)

to not reduce or increase something Businesses are holding the line on hiring and spending plans because of uncertainty about the economy.
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hold the line

Maintain the existing position or state of affairs. For example, We'll have to hold the line on spending until our profits rise. This term alludes to former military tactics, in which a line of troops was supposed to prevent an enemy breakthrough. Eventually, it was transferred to civilian enterprises. [Mid-1900s]
See also: hold, line

hold the line

To maintain the existing position or state of affairs: had to hold the line on salary increases.
See also: hold, line
References in periodicals archive ?
We are hopeful fiscal leaders in the House will recognize the need to hold the line on taxes in order to rejuvenate the economy and put people back to work.
Lee said the council needs another voice for people willing to hold the line on overdevelopment.
The use of effective management systems to control our costs has enabled us to hold the line on rate increases even in the current market where costs are trending upward.
under pressure in 1999, companies will do their best to hold the line on wage settlements,'' said economist Gerald D.
Many House Republicans are insistent that the bill hold the line on spending, and that any extra funds be fully paid for with offsetting cuts elsewhere in the budget.
If we decide to appeal and prevail, any refund we ultimately receive in this case will be used to help hold the line on the cost of insurance and other financial services for the military families who depend on us.
With our new GR TestStation TSM, we meet the needs of this important portion of our customer base while successfully addressing manufacturers' needs to hold the line on use of costly floor space.
The NOVILIT solution is the only one that can help our customers hold the line on engineering budgets, dramatically improve human resource efficiency, and reduce product development cycles to ensure that engineering teams deliver quality products on time - even early.
With the rapid explosion of natural gas and electric prices and with nearly 70 percent of the energy used in the United States consumed by businesses with geographically-dispersed locations, one company stands apart helping the business community hold the line on these bottom line expenses.