call (someone) to heel

(redirected from called him to heel)

call (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 call 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 call them to heel right away!
See also: call, heel
References in classic literature ?
In a low voice I called him to heel. For just an instant he hesitated, standing there trembling and with bared fangs, glaring at his foe; but he was well trained and had been out with me quite as much as he had with Bowen--in fact, I had had most to do with his early training; then he walked slowly and very stiff-legged to his place behind me.
His handlers called him to heel then moved on, leaving others to claw at the debris.