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

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 ?
Santa Clara: leashed dogs are allowed in certain parks.
Keeping your dog leashed while hiking also can protect your pet from injury - or worse - in a trailside encounter with others.
House cats should be kept indoors if possible and should be supervised or leashed when allowed outside, health officials said.
I respect the police and the law a lot,'' Hubbartt said, while the county sheriff's deputy warned the dog owners to keep their pets leashed.
Callaghan, who has been training dogs for four decades, takes the leashed dogs to three stations where snakes wait coiled under plastic buckets.
As show dogs raced after flying discs, owners chatted about their leashed charges.
Vicious dogs are supposed to be kept leashed or locked up, but Prince got away twice, once by breaking out of a cage and another time by bolting when Jeffrey opened a door.
Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are more lenient about requirements, many parklands require dogs be leashed on trails.