toe the line


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Related to toe the line: take heart

toe the line

To adhere to the rules of something. From now on, I plan to toe the line and do exactly what Gram tells me, to avoid getting in any more trouble.
See also: line, toe

toe the mark

 and toe the line
Fig. to do what one is expected to do; to follow the rules. You'll get ahead, Sally. Don't worry. Just toe the mark, and everything will be okay. John finally got fired. He just couldn't learn to toe the line.
See also: mark, toe

toe the line

Also, toe the mark. Meet a standard, abide by the rules, as in The new director will make us toe the line, I'm sure, or At daycare Brian has to toe the mark, but at home his mother's quite lenient. This idiom refers to runners in a race placing their toes on the starting line and not moving until the starting signal. Its figurative use dates from the early 1800s.
See also: line, toe

toe the line

COMMON If you toe the line, you behave in the way that people in authority have told you to behave. The new legislation could force them out of business if they don't toe the line. Journalists who refuse to toe the line will have to be sacked. Note: You often use a word before line to indicate who the people in authority are. He was sacked for not toeing the Party line. Note: At the start of a race, runners stand in a row with their toe just behind the starting line.
See also: line, toe
References in periodicals archive ?
And Toe The Line, a bumper winner at Listowel IN September, should prove very tough to beat in the Follow Sligo Races On Facebook Maiden at the end of a week which saw her trainer land the Grade 1 Growise Novice Chase at the Punchestown Festival with Carlingford Lough.
And Britain could be forced to toe the line unless Premier Tony Blair tries to use his veto.
A major, and well-respected, car manufacturer colluded with dealers who were fixing prices, by penalising distributors who didn't toe the line.
CUT IT OUT Broad believes Pietersen (right) will toe the line
If they had the guts to tell this man to toe the line or else, he might then think twice before opening his mouth.
The theologian, Bernard Haring, argues that in almost all religions there is still a temptation to use the potent motive of fear, forcing people to toe the line in religion and other things.
Kerr, who supported the right to send a child to nursery with a haircut resembling warriors of old, everyone in their time has had to toe the line to school rules.
More than anything it portrays Hollywood as a very dog-eat-dog community where an individual has to toe the line or they find themselves out in the cold forever.
THE firefighters do a good job but these over paid under worked firefighters who put people's lives at risk by unofficial action should be made to toe the line, leave or be sacked.
My job is, I have to toe the line and make sure they don't get too confident.
It's purpose is maximum devastation on the mainland in order to get Tony Blair to continue to toe the line.
Threaten footballers with fines and they toe the line.
House would like to pick and choose his patients - but his boss Dr Lisa Cuddy tries to make him toe the line as far as his clinical duties are concerned.
PRESUMABLY Gordon Brown wishes to commit political suicide at the next election in view of his decision to allow Labour MPs a free vote according to their consciences on the three individual sections of the Human Embryo and Fertilisation Bill, then expect them to toe the line and vote for the bill in its entirety however they may have decided to vote previously.
Ms Smith (Lab, Redditch), who has the job of ensuring backbenchers toe the line, will have the power to suspend those who say the wrong things.