put the heat on

put the heat on (someone)

 and put the screws on (someone); put the squeeze on (someone); put the heat on; put the screws on; put the squeeze on
Sl. to put pressure on someone (to do something); to coerce someone. John wouldn't talk, so the police were putting the heat on him to confess. When my boss puts the screws on, he can be very unpleasant. The police know how to put the squeeze on.
See also: heat, on, put

put the heat on somebody

1. (British, American & Australian) to try to force or persuade someone to do something (usually + to do sth) Environmental groups are putting the heat on the government to stop pollution from power stations.
2. (American & Australian) if you put the heat on someone who is competing with you, you start to do well so they have to work harder or play better The Dodgers have won three games in a row and are starting to put the heat on the Mets.
See also: heat, on, put