bring (someone) to heel(redirected from bring them to heel)
bring (someone) to heel
To force someone to obey one's wishes or commands; to make someone act in accordance with one's authority. The CEO was quick to bring the junior board member to heel after the latter spoke out of turn at the annual general meeting. Sir, the members of your squad are all out of control. You need to bring them to heel right away!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
bring someone to heel
Fig. to cause someone to act in a disciplined fashion; to force someone to act in a more disciplined manner. She tried to bring her husband to heel, but he had a mind of his own. He was brought to heel by his demanding wife.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
bring to heel
Force to obey, subjugate. For example, The prisoners were quickly brought to heel. This term transfers commanding a dog to come close behind its master to similar control over human beings or affairs. [Second half of 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
bring someone to heelor
call someone to heel
COMMON If you bring someone to heel or call them to heel, you make them obey you. The king was determined to bring his rebellious subjects to heel. Others question whether he really holds such power over the president, who has been known to call him to heel at times. Note: The image here is of a person making their dog walk obediently at their side.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012