turn up the heat on(redirected from tighten the screws on)
turn up the heat
1. To pressure someone to do something. We need to turn up the heat on those guys so that they finally pay their debt to us.
2. To start to do something with more determination or intensity. Wow, they really turned up the heat on their opponents in the second half.
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.