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be (one's/the) main squeeze
1. slang To be one's romantic partner. Primarily heard in US. Who's your main squeeze these days? Someone new? Leia is his main squeeze—they've been dating for a few months now.
2. slang To be the most important person in a particular area. Stewart just got promoted, so he's now the main squeeze in our department.
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.
put the squeeze on someone
1. Inf. to attempt to get money out of someone. The mob put the squeeze on all the merchants, threatening to break their windows if they didn't pay. Are you trying to put the squeeze on me for more money?
2. Go to put the heat on (someone).
squeeze by (someone or something)
to manage just to press oneself past someone or something. The hall was crowded and I had to squeeze by a number of rotund gentlemen. I squeezed by the crowd and ran on to my appointment.
squeeze someone or something into somethingand squeeze someone or something in
to press or push someone or something into something small. Let's see if we can squeeze everyone into the car. Let's squeeze in one more.
squeeze someone or something through (something)
to push and compress until someone or something passes through something. John's cellmate managed to squeeze John through the window just before the guards walked by. I squeezed some food through the crack and the trapped miner was glad to get it.
squeeze someone or something together
to press people or things together. The driver squeezed us together so he could get more people in the taxi. See if you can squeeze the vegetables together a little so we can get more in the basket.
squeeze someone or something up
to press people or things close together. The usher tried to squeeze us up so she could seat more people. Don't squeeze up the cars too tight in the parking area.
squeeze something from something
1. Lit. to press something out of something; to press on something until something comes out. Betty squeezed some toothpaste from the tube. Don't squeeze so much mustard from the bottle.
2. Fig. to get a little more of something from something. Let's see if we can squeeze a few more miles from this tank of gas before we fill up again. I think I can squeeze another few minutes from this candle before I have to light a new one.
squeeze something out of somethingand squeeze something out
to press something until something is expelled from something. Claire squeezed some toothpaste out of the tube. She squeezed out some toothpaste.
squeeze (themselves) together
[for creatures] to press close together. The little pigs squeezed themselves together to get a better chance at some food. They squeezed together and gobbled their dinner. They squeezed themselves together to keep warm.
squeeze (themselves) up
[for people] to press themselves closely together. Everyone squeezed themselves up in the tiny car so there would be room for one more. Let's squeeze up so Jamie can sit down. They squeezed themselves up so they would take less space.
squeeze through something
to manage to press oneself through an opening. I think I can squeeze through the window and get out of this place. The cat squeezed through a hole in the fence and got away.
squeeze up against someone or something
to press close up against someone or something. He squeezed up against me, trying to keep warm. The puppies squeezed up against their mother.
put the squeeze on somebody/something
to put pressure on someone or something I hate telephone calls that put the squeeze on me to contribute to something, even to something obviously good. Higher numbers of commuters using buses and trains have put the squeeze on public transportation.
squeeze somebody/something out (of something)also squeeze out somebody/something
to prevent someone or something from having an opportunity High prices for houses squeezed many people out of the market. Big Fellow Hamburger Stands tried illegally to squeeze out its competitors.
squeeze something out of somebody/something
to get something with great effort from someone or something Albert was good at thinking of ways to squeeze money out of his father in England. Fred didn't like to tell the truth, and you had to squeeze it out of him.
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.
be somebody's main squeeze(American informal)
to be the person that someone has a romantic or sexual relationship with Didn't you know? Jennifer is Bob's main squeeze.
put the squeeze on somebody/something
1. to try to influence a person or organization to make them act in the way you want Human rights activists hope the US president will put the squeeze on the island's rulers.
2. to cause problems for someone, especially by making it difficult for them to achieve something The recession has put the squeeze on many small businesses.
1. One's boss, the highest authority, an important person. For example, Who's the main squeeze in this company? This slangy term was first recorded in 1896, and the precise allusion is unclear.
2. One's sweetheart, as in Nancy is his main squeeze. This slangy usage, first recorded in 1970, alludes to the "squeeze" of a hug.
Fire a gun, as in He squeezed off one shot after another but didn't bring down a single crow. The idiom alludes to squeezing the trigger. [Mid-1900s]
A situation in which pressure exerted to obtain a concession or achieve a goal, as in Workers sometimes feel caught in a squeeze play between union and management. This expression, dating from about 1900, originated in baseball, where it refers to a prearranged play in which the runner on third base breaks for home plate on the pitch, and the batter bunts. [c. 1915]
Also, squeeze by. Manage to pass, win, or survive by a narrow margin, as in We squeezed through the second round of playoffs, or There was just enough food stored in the cabin for us to squeeze by until the hurricane ended . This idiom uses squeeze in the sense of "succeed by means of compression." [c. 1700] Also see squeak by.
A difficulty caused by too little time or space, or too little credit or funds. For example, It will be a tight squeeze to get there on time, or I don't know if the sofa will go through the door; it's a tight squeeze , or The company's in a tight squeeze because of poor cash flow. This idiom uses tight in the sense of "too narrow or constricted." [c. 1900]
turn up the heat on
Also, put the heat or screws or squeeze on ; tighten the screws on. Pressure someone, as in The cops turned up the heat on drivers who show signs of drunkenness, or They said they'd tighten the screws on her if she didn't confess. All of these slangy terms allude to forms of physical coercion or torture. The first dates from about 1930, the variants using screws from the mid-1800s, and squeeze from the late 1700s.
1. To force one's way past someone or something: I had to squeeze by the flight attendant to get to the bathroom. The vote on this bill will be close, but I think we can squeeze it by.
2. To succeed just barely in passing an obstacle, such as a competition or evaluation: The student squeezed by with a D minus.
1. To manage to make room or time for someone or something in a tight space or schedule by or as if by exerting pressure: I squeezed in a round of golf before work. We squeezed a quick meal in before the bus trip.
2. To force one's way into a tight space: Just as the elevator door was closing, one more person squeezed in.
1. To manage to make room or time for someone or something in some tight space or schedule by or as if by exerting pressure: She squeezed her books into the briefcase. The dentist can squeeze you into her schedule next week.
2. To force one's way into some tight space: He squeezed into the packed subway car.
To fire some amount of ammunition by squeezing a trigger: The police officer squeezed off four shots. I squeezed the shots off in rapid succession.
1. To extract something by or as if by applying pressure: I cut open a lemon and squeezed out the juice. The detective squeezed a confession out of the suspect.
2. To force out or displace someone or something by gaining better access to a limited resource: The larger puppies squeezed out the smallest as they competed for the mother's milk. The town center was once populated with local artists, but large retail stores have since squeezed them out.
1. To force one's way through something that is narrow or tightly packed: We squeezed through the crowd to get to the bar.
2. To manage narrowly to pass, win, or survive something: The team squeezed through the first round of the tournament. School was so tough that I barely squeezed through.
budget squeezeand budget crunch
n. a situation where there is not enough money in the budget. Facing another budget squeeze, the legislators were forced to put off their pay increase. If it wasn’t for the budget crunch, I’d get a good raise this year.
1. n. one’s boss; the person in charge. The main squeeze has a lot of responsibility.
2. n. one’s steady girlfriend or boyfriend. (Possibly related to crush.) My main squeeze is coming over to talk tonight.
put the screws on someoneand put the heat on someone and put the squeeze on someone
tv. to pressure someone; to threaten someone to achieve something. He told everything about the plan when they put the screws on him. The cops put the heat on him to try to make him talk.
put the squeeze on someoneverb
1. n. liquor. (see also grape(s).) Let’s stop on the way and get some squeeze.
2. tv. to put pressure on someone. The mob began to squeeze Bart for money.
3. n. a tight situation; a situation where pressure is felt. When the squeeze is over, we’ll be able to get squared away.
4. n. one’s lover. (see also main squeeze.) I’ll see if my squeeze wants to go.
n. a special play in baseball where there is a runner on third base and the batter bunts. (With an early start the runner may reach home plate.) They pulled off that squeeze play like the professionals they are.
n. an accordion. (see also groan box.) My brother plays the squeeze-box—not very well, but who can tell? The band consisted of drums, clarinet, and a box. A real winner.