under thumb

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under (one's) thumb

Under another's authoritarian control; continually forced to submit to another's will. They seem happy when they're out and about, but I hear that Johnny is under his husband's thumb at home. Although the job paid well, I couldn't stand the way I was under the boss's thumb.
See also: thumb
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*under someone's thumb

Fig. under someone's control and management. (*Typically: get someone ~; have someone ~; hold someone ~; keep someone ~.) You can't keep your kids under your thumb all their lives. I don't want to have these people under my thumb. I'm not the manager type.
See also: thumb
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

under (someone's) thumb

Under the control of someone; subordinate to.
See also: thumb
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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