draw the line

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draw the line

1. To establish a figurative boundary that someone or some group refuses to cross or beyond which no further advance or compromise is accepted. I don't mind my roommate being a bit messy, but leaving dirty dishes for me to clean up is where I draw the line!
2. To clearly separate or create boundaries for two things. If you're going to work closely with your wife, you really need to draw the line between your professional life and your personal life.
See also: draw, line

draw the line (at something)

to set a limit at something; to decide when a limit has been reached. You can make as much noise as you want, but I draw the line at fighting. It's hard to keep young people under control, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
See also: draw, line

draw the line

COMMON
1. If someone knows where to draw the line, they know at what point an activity or situation stops being reasonable and starts to be unacceptable. It is difficult for charities to know where to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable sources of finance. Where do you draw the line about who the press can and can't investigate?
2. If you draw the line at a particular activity, you would not do it, because you disapprove of it or because it is so extreme. I'll do almost anything — although I think I'd draw the line at running naked across the stage! I have to draw the line somewhere. I refuse to go in for spiritualism. Note: There are several theories about the origin of this expression. It may come from early versions of tennis, in which the court had no fixed size: players agreed their own limits and drew lines accordingly. Alternatively, it may be connected with the 16th century practice of using a plough to cut a line across a field to indicate a boundary between two plots of land. A third possibility is that it refers to boxing matches in the past, when a line was drawn in the ring which neither boxer could cross. `Cross the line' may be based on a similar idea.
See also: draw, line

draw the ˈline (at something)

refuse to do or accept something: I don’t mind cooking dinner for you occasionally, but I draw the line at ironing your shirts!He refused to tolerate her lies any longer. The line had to be drawn somewhere.
See also: draw, line

draw the line

1. To decide firmly an arbitrary boundary between two things: "Where do you draw the line between your own decisions and those of your superiors?" (Robert Marion).
2. To decide firmly the limit of what one will tolerate or participate in: The officer committed fraud but drew the line at blackmail.
See also: draw, line
References in periodicals archive ?
Deeply engaged with the nuances of psychoanalytic theory, Drawing the Line thus sophisticatedly unpacks the father's function in creating a play of identification and interrelation that allows for "both cultural exchange and cultural specificity" (6).
Drawing the Line begins by examining Faulkner's 1948 novel Intruder in the Dust.
But customers have to start drawing the line on the daily intrusions of advertising before someone figures out how to legally beam holographic spots right into our bedrooms.
The murderous response to the Shi'ite uprisings was fine-tuned: the White House allowed Hussein free rein in southern Iraq, drawing the line at his use of chemical weapons and fixed-wing aircraft.
Topic is Drawing the Line Between Hardware and Software,
Panel Discussion: Drawing the Line between Hardware and Software
But Rafe Greenleaf, a spokesman for the Screen Actors Guild, said the Constitution precludes the government from drawing the line based on the content of the films.
In an era of term limits, Katz added, the politicians drawing the lines are not only looking to protect their home ground, but are thinking about their next move - for example, from Assembly to state Senate, or to Congress.