draw a line in the sand

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draw a line in the sand

To establish a figurative boundary that someone or some group refuses to cross or beyond which no further advance or compromise is accepted. (Used especially in the phrase "draw a line in the sand.") I don't mind my roommate being a bit messy, but leaving dirty dishes for me to clean up is where I draw a line in the sand!
See also: draw, line, sand

draw a line in the sand

Fig. to create or declare an artificial boundary and imply that crossing it will cause trouble. Todd drew a line in the sand by giving his roommate an ultimatum about his sloppiness—he had to start cleaning up after himself or move out.
See also: draw, line, sand

draw a line in the ˈsand

set a limit that you refuse to allow something to go beyond: The government is trying to draw a line in the sand regarding public sector pay rises.
See also: draw, line, sand