bring (someone) to heel

(redirected from bringing 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!
See also: bring, heel

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.
See also: bring, heel

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]
See also: bring, heel

bring someone to heel

or

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.
See also: bring, heel, someone
References in periodicals archive ?
It was all about bringing them to heel, curbing their excesses.
You say the Tories are in banks' pockets and have no interest in bringing them to heel.
With not one jot of regard for the husband who adored her, she bedded a whole host of men for no other reason than to feed her gargantuan ego by bringing them to heel with sex.
The real put-down comes in the jowly form of the man who has been left to do the job of bringing them to heel.
This is the character recognizable from years of study, always willing to shock his audience with the audacity of his characters and their actions, as critical of Christians as of Jews or Scythians, but always bringing them to heel with his plots.