hold (one) to ransom

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hold (one) to ransom

To demand something or some action from someone by threatening them with a harmful consequence if they do not comply. Threatening us with a fine if we don't participate in the survey is a bit like holding us to ransom, isn't it?
See also: hold, ransom

hold someone to ransom

BRITISH
COMMON If one person holds another to ransom, the first person uses their power or influence to force the second to do something they do not want to do. But who are the powerful men at the Bundesbank who have the power to hold Europe to ransom? Giorgio Armani, the fashion guru, refused to be held to ransom by greedy catwalk supermodels.
See also: hold, ransom, someone

hold someone or something to ransom

1 hold someone prisoner and demand payment for their release. 2 demand concessions from a person or organization by threatening damaging action.

hold somebody to ˈransom


1 hold somebody as a prisoner until money has been paid for their release: The kidnappers held the little girl to ransom for more than eight hours.
2 try to force somebody to do what you want by using threats: The government said that the workers were holding the country to ransom by demanding a ten per cent pay rise.
See also: hold, ransom, somebody
References in periodicals archive ?
We have reached what we consider to be a market value for the player and we have shown in the past that we will not be held to ransom over a transfer," he said.
Gold said: "We have pushed the boat out for Dunn but we won't be held to ransom he is a top of the range buy and the offer reflects that.
VICTIMS of White Thursday, held to ransom when a couple of inches of snow and ice crippled Britain's creaking road-transport system, might not appreciate the fact, but one benefit did emerge from the chaos on Friday.
Oh yes there are those who in harkening back to the 1970s would warn of the country being held to ransom by trade union leaders.
MORE than 40,000 furious members of the public were held to ransom yesterday by striking workers at the Passport Office.
IT'S such a tragedy that Paul and Rachel Chandler were snatched and held to ransom by pirates.
Wenger has made the Russian playmaker his number one target, but the club will not be held to ransom by Zenit's pounds 20million valuation.
Thirteen women agreed to be held to ransom as part of the event in aid of Cardiff Women's Aid.
We have been told if we come out of work we can be sacked for breach of contract - it's like being held to ransom.
I KNOW Martin O'Neill doesn't want to be held to ransom with signings - but I don't want Villa to be relegated.
Qpr chairman Gianni Paladini has warned young striker Ray Jones the club "will not be held to ransom.
JAILED Liverpool fan Michael Shields said today he felt he was being held to ransom by the Bulgarian gover nment.
A 10-YEAR-OLD boy snatched from his home by a kidnap gang has been rescued after being held to ransom for 36 hours.
Held to ransom by bosses whose rampant self-interest backed Sven in to a corner, he must face ridicule or give the public a minor sop.
And although it's believed Carbone is ready to put pen to paper Ellis repeated that he will will not be held to ransom over the player's pounds 30,000-a-week wage demands.