put the screws to (someone)

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put the screws to (someone)

To exert excessive and coercive pressure, force, or threats of violence on someone. The bank has really started putting the screws to me ever since I began missing my mortgage payments. I'll send a bit of muscle around tomorrow to put the screws to him. Then we'll see if he's still so sure he won't sign the contract.
See also: put, screw
References in periodicals archive ?
Whether fronting his iconic TV show "Good Eats,'' playing the role of host and sportscaster on the "Iron Chef America'' smackdown, putting the screws to would-be TV personalities on "The Next Food Network Star'' or causing chaos on the vicious gamechow show "Cutthroat Kitchen,'' Alton Brown is a standout in the world of foodie television.
What a mess that has been kicked up by a government that has been putting the screws to First Nations leadership over accountability and transparency issues since it first came to power in 2006: the hypocrisy of it all.
Most New Yorkers play by the rules and pay what they owe--and the ones that don't are putting the screws to the rest of us," said Commissioner Frankel.
Leiweke complained to another newspaper that Trutanich has been putting the screws to him, warning AEG to cough up $6 million to cover the city's cost for 3,500 police officers, traffic control and a tasty lunch for those who worked detail during the televised Jackson memorial entertainment extravaganza - or else.
He is waging a similar holy war against medical marijuana in California, while putting the screws to federal prosecutors across the nation to more aggressively pursue the death penalty.
Now, if the best thing about journalism is putting the screws to important people, the absolute worst is interviewing ``regular'' people.
Let us not forget, from its inception, the DWP has been putting the screws to the public.