lead by the nose


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Related to lead by the nose: led by the nose

lead someone by the nose

 
1. Fig. to force someone to go somewhere (with you); to lead someone by coercion. John had to lead Tom by the nose to get him to the opera. I'll go, but you'll have to lead me by the nose.
2. Fig. to guide someone very carefully and slowly. (As if the person were not very smart.) He will never find his way through the tax form unless you lead him by the nose. Don't lead me by the nose! I'm coming!
See also: lead, nose

lead by the nose

Dominate or control someone, as in "The Moor ... will tenderly be led by the nose as asses are" (Shakespeare, Othello, 1:3). This expression alludes to an animal being led by a ring passed through its nostrils. [Late 1500s]
See also: lead, nose