call (all) the shots

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call (all) the shots

To dictate how a situation or agenda proceeds, as from a position of authority. My staff has to do what I say because I'm the boss, and I call all the shots here! Mom calls the shots for Thanksgiving dinner, so you better get her approval for any dish you want to bring.
See also: call, shot
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

call (all) the shots

to decide on the course of action; to be in charge. Why do you have to call all the shots? Do what you're told. I'll call the shots.
See also: call, shot

call the shots

 and call the tune
Fig. to make the decisions; to decide what is to be done. Sally always wants to call the shots, and Mary doesn't like to be bossed around. They don't get along well. Sally always wants to call the tune.
See also: call, shot
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

call the shots

Exercise authority, be in charge, as in It's up to the boss to call the shots. This term probably alludes to determining accuracy in target practice. [Mid-1900s] Also see call the tune.
See also: call, shot
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.

call the shots

INFORMAL
COMMON If you call the shots, you are the person who makes all the important decisions in an organization or situation. Is the military really the power behind the President now? Who really calls the shots? He had to be the one calling the shots, in control of everything. Note: This may refer to someone shooting and saying which part of the target they intend to hit. Alternatively, it may refer to a snooker or pool player saying which ball they intend to hit or which pocket they intend to hit it into.
See also: call, shot
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

call the shots (or tune)

take the initiative in deciding how something should be done; be in control. informal
Call the shots was originally an American phrase, first recorded in the 1960s. Call the tune comes from the saying he who pays the piper calls the tune , which dates from the late 19th century.
1996 Sunday Telegraph Britain is no longer run from Downing Street. It's Brussels that calls the shots.
See also: call, shot
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

call (all) the shots

tv. to decide on the course of action; to be in charge. Why do you have to call all the shots?
See also: all, call, shot

call the shots

verb
See also: call, shot
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

call the

shots/tune Informal
To exercise authority; be in charge.
See also: call
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.

call the shots

Be in charge, make all major decisions. This colloquialism, dating from the mid-1900s, probably alludes to target practice. David Baldacci used it in Hour Game (2004): “Okay, I was right; the feds call the shots and take the glory.” See also run the show.
See also: call, shot
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
We now have the same situation in number 10 where Mr Cummings, an unelected adviser, is calling all the shots on Brexit and Boris is of course dancing along to his tune.
They're not only desperately in need of our money but also calling all the shots too.
More candidates have switched parties than ever before and there is a lot of mention of an 'invisible hand' calling all the shots.
The PTI leader further alleged that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was 'merely a puppet PM, while Fawad Hassan Fawad is the one calling all the shots'.
Maybe the couple aren't calling all the shots after all
But, it seems like the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is the one calling all the shots on the diplomatic stage...Because if Russia is sincere about helping save the remaining Syrians, then why continue to harm innocent civilians?
With her ex-hubby Mohammad Mukhtar as one of the producers , she's surely having fun calling all the shots. Could messing with her ex be the motivation for the constant meddling?
Brett is now calling all the shots in Sheen's life and they have only known each other for 6 weeks, and people close to the actor believe that the relationship will eventually fizzle out, but his career could be in tatters by that point, the source added.
It should be an equal partnership, not one where he's calling all the shots.
Calling all the shots, Bay's Luke Denson volleyed against the bar while Sheridan was unlucky to hit the post with a scorching shot that stayed out.
Tory leader Michael Howard meanwhile renewed his demand for a top British envoy to be sent to Iraq to stop theUS calling all the shots
Tony Blair was last night under mounting pressure to send a top envoy to Iraq to stop the US calling all the shots.
"It's no longer legislators or regulators calling all the shots and setting policy," Poole says.
McKenna was calling all the shots, but he rashly squandered two golden opportunities.
VETERAN'S DAY: Woosnam calling all the shots; IN THE FINAL: Harrington