hold to ransom

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hold somebody to ransom

to force someone to do something by putting them in a situation where something bad will happen to them if they do not Some people regarded the miners' strike as the union holding the nation to ransom.
See also: hold, ransom
References in periodicals archive ?
Hold To Ransom was Frankie Dettori's second winner of the week, and was dropping back to a mile after two defeats at longer distances.
Hold To Ransom pulls right away to land the Sandringham Rated Stakes by five lengths EDWARD WHITAKER
The field is completed by Air Adair, Hold To Ransom and the Ian Balding-trained duo Casual Look and Oblige.
Tote: 13-8 Soviet Song, 4 Rainbow Queen, 5 Reach For The Moon, 11-2 Summitville, 9 Approach, 12 Hold To Ransom, Huja, 22 Air Adair, 25 Casual Look, 66 Oblige
PREVIOUS racecourse experience proved a huge asset to Ed Dunlop's Hold To Ransom, who was able to overcome a poor draw to land the fillies' maiden.