step out of line

step out of line

1. Literally, to not be correctly positioned in a line with other people or things. I only stepped out of line for a minute! Can't you let me back in?
2. To act in an inappropriate or unacceptable way. That reporter stepped out of line when he asked questions about my personal life. I'm sorry about last night, I stepped out of line when I made those demands.
See also: line, of, out, step

step out of line

 
1. Lit. to move out of a line of people. If you step out of line, you will lose your place in it. I had to step out of line to sit down on the curb and rest for a minute.
2. Fig. to misbehave; to deviate from normal, expected, or demanded behavior. If you step out of line again, I'll slap you. Tom stepped out of line once too often and got yelled at.
See also: line, of, out, step

step out of line

COMMON If someone steps out of line, they do something that they should not do or they behave in an unacceptable way. The Police Services Commission should be tougher with officers who step out of line. Our values and traditions were accepted and agreed by everyone. If you stepped out of line, you knew what to expect. Note: Get is sometimes used instead of step. Boy, if you get out of line you're in trouble. Compare with out of line. Note: The line referred to here is a line of soldiers, who are expected to act as a unit.
See also: line, of, out, step

step out of line

behave inappropriately or disobediently.
See also: line, of, out, step

step out of ˈline

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be/get out of ˈline

behave badly or break the rules: The teacher warned them that she’d punish anyone who stepped out of line.
See also: line, of, out, step