toe the line

(redirected from Tow the line)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Tow the line: toe the mark, toed the line

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 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

toe the line

accept the authority, principles, or policies of a particular group, especially under pressure.
Competitors in a race toe the line by placing their toes on the starting line.
1998 Times An insider suggests…that the said minister is…on the skids. The minister smarts, and toes the line.
See also: line, toe

toe the ˈline

(American English also toe the ˈmark) obey the orders and accept the ideas, aims and principles of a particular group or person: The Prime Minister is angry because some members of the government are not toeing the line. OPPOSITE: overstep the mark/line
See also: line, toe
References in periodicals archive ?
Phone me to hear why I think you should tow the line.
Sometimes it is easier to tow the line in order to make close ones happy.
Mariam Al Salem and her Emirati companions said visitors and expatriates should tow the line.
MOANING Mona got the chop after refusing to tow the line.
It's clear there's a real selfish streak among those who can't tow the line and park safely on the school run.
However much you believe in a principle, theory or cause you cannot make others tow the line.
For a manufacturer as proud of their Gallic heritage as Citroen are to admit that they must tow the line set by German car makers in terms of quality is a real coup.
FOOTBALLER Joey Barton was encouraging youngsters to tow the line today.
Now Evans is threatening to hit 21-year-old Fowler with a big fine if he doesn't tow the line.
The three largest Muslim communities, the Sunnis, the Shiites and Druze traditionally tow the line of their strong leaders.
Of course during the time they are confined this way, say six months at a time, to see if they are then prepared to tow the line their parents should have their child benefit stopped and this could go towards their upkeep while in the truancy boarding type school.
And, perhaps mindful that his place in the Turkey side to play England in April could be in jeopardy unless he gets match fit, Alpay is prepared to tow the line.
The issue was whether or not chocolate should have been available in these countries, and under this new directive Italy and Spain now have to tow the line.
Refusing to tow the line, the plucky student began to ask probing questions about improving her and others' quality of life.