leash


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keep (someone) on a short leash

To maintain strict or tight control over someone; to not allow someone very much independence or autonomy. Ever since George nearly lost his life savings in a drunken poker match, his husband started keeping him on a short leash. The boss has kept her assistant on a short leash ever since she hired her.
See also: keep, leash, on, short

have (someone) on a tight leash

To maintain strict or tight control over someone; to not allow someone very much independence or autonomy. Poor George seems like he doesn't get out too much these days. I think his husband has him on a tight leash. The boss has had her assistant on a tight leash ever since she hired her.
See also: have, leash, on, tight

be kept on a tight leash

To be strictly controlled (by someone); to not be allowed very much independence or autonomy. George has been kept on a tight leash by his husband ever since he gambled away their life savings at a poker match. Everyone feels like they've been kept on a tight leash ever since that new manager took over.
See also: kept, leash, on, tight

be kept on a short leash

To be strictly controlled (by someone); to not be allowed very much independence or autonomy. George has been kept on a short leash by his husband ever since he gambled away their life savings at a poker match. Everyone feels like they've been kept on a short leash ever since that new manager took over.
See also: kept, leash, on, short

be on a tight leash

To be strictly controlled (by someone); to not be allowed very much independence or autonomy. George has been on a tight leash with his husband ever since he gambled away their life savings at a poker match. Everyone feels like they're on a tight leash at the office ever since that new manager took over.
See also: leash, on, tight

be on a short leash

To be strictly controlled (by someone); to not be allowed very much independence or autonomy. George has been on a short leash with his husband ever since he gambled away their life savings at a poker match. Everyone feels like they're on a short leash at the office ever since that new manager took over.
See also: leash, on, short

short leash

A phrase that highlights one's lack of independence or autonomy due to being strongly controlled by another. George has been on a short leash with his husband ever since he gambled away their life savings at a poker match. Everyone feels like they're on a short leash at the office ever since that new manager took over.
See also: leash, short

strain at the leash

To try to take action, especially when faced with obstacles. The phrase alludes to a dog pulling at its leash because it wants to walk at a different pace or in a different direction than its owner. Ever since she got her driver's license, my daughter has been straining at the leash for more freedom.
See also: leash, strain

have one's brain on a leash

Sl. to be drunk. Maxhad his brain on a leash before he even got to the party. Some guy who had his brain on a leash ran his car off the road.
See also: brain, have, leash, on

on a tight leash

 
1. Lit. [of an animal] on a leash, held tightly and close to its owner. I keep my dog on a tight leash so it won't bother people.
2. Fig. under very careful control. My father keeps my brother on a tight leash. We can't do much around here. The boss has us all on a tight leash.
3. Sl. addicted to some drug. Wilbur is on a tight leash. He has to have the stuff regularly. Gert is kept on a tight leash by her habit.
See also: leash, on, tight

strain at the leash

 
1. Lit. [for a dog] to pull very hard on its leash. It's hard to walk Fido, because he is always straining at the leash. I wish that this dog would not strain at the leash. It's very hard on me.
2. Fig. [for a person] to want to move ahead with things, aggressively and independently. She wants to fix things right away. She is straining at the leash to get started. Paul is straining at the leash to get on the job.
See also: leash, strain

keep somebody on a tight leash

also keep somebody on a short leash
to allow someone very little freedom to do what they want He doesn't go out with the guys much now that his girlfriend is around to keep him on a tight leash.
Usage notes: sometimes used with have: The police will have a tight leash on all the suspects until the trial.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of leash (a length of rope or leather used to prevent a dog or other animal from getting away)
See also: keep, leash, on, tight

have/keep somebody on a short/tight leash

to have a lot of control over someone's behaviour and allow them very little freedom to do what they want He doesn't go out with the lads so much these days. Michelle keeps him on a tight leash.
See also: have, leash, on, short

be straining at the leash

to be very eager to do something that you are being prevented from doing at the present time Meanwhile we hear that our soldiers have reached a peak of fitness and are straining at the leash.
See also: leash, strain

have one’s brain on a leash

tv. to be drunk. Wayne had his brain on a leash before he even got to the party.
See also: brain, have, leash, on

on a tight leash

1. mod. under very careful control. We can’t do much around here. The boss has us all on a tight leash.
2. mod. addicted to some drug. Wilmer is on a tight leash. He has to have the stuff regularly.
See also: leash, on, tight
References in periodicals archive ?
We at the Idaho Humane Society strongly feel that dogs that appear to have some training and that exhibit positive reactions to humans are more likely to get adopted, and that the act of "sitting" on command or walking appropriately on a leash can be the difference between life or death to a dog in a shelter.
POLICE are on the look out for a missing owl which escaped from a garden after breaking loose from its leash.
Wronski says she never lets her pug, Toby, off his leash in her hometown of Holden.
Both comfortable and durable, this glow in the dark leash is also water resistant and easy to clean.
The new “cause” series is a continuation of the existing Avant Garde retractable leash collection and has already become one of the best-selling items for them.
She comes with me in the car to work and I walk her in on a leash.
I believe that all dogs must be leashed and if you're caught without a leash on your dog then it should be an automatic prison sentence.
According to Mashable, the Dog Leash Plus, which is manufactured by Protocol, is priced at 26 dollars and comprises of an LCD clock, an LED flashlight, a pop-up water bowl, a treat container and dispenser and a baggie receptacle hidden inside the handle.
I have many clients with fearful or reactive dogs who only ever walk their dogs on leash.
Three out of four households leave dog training and care to women--which makes LIPSTICK AND THE LEASH so essential.
And if I saw someone approaching the beach, I would put it on the leash.
Available in two sizes and four colors, the LeashLocket contains a 6-foot retractable leash, then snaps onto your dog's collar when not in use.
ask a friend to grab the end of the leash and jerk on it periodically.
Designed by a federal agent, who I will not ID because he can and will hurt me, the Pistol Leash does what a lanyard is supposed to do: work.
Savage, who posted that question as part of an online opinion poll, repeatedly insisted that he asked it in all seriousness, reasoning that if Saddam could be kept "on a leash," his expertise in putting down rebellion would be of use to the coalition.