hold a/the wolf by the ear(s)

(redirected from held wolf by ear)

hold a/the wolf by the ear(s)

To be in a difficult and precarious situation from which it is as dangerous to extricate oneself as it is to remain in it. I'm afraid we're holding a wolf by the ears regarding our current healthcare system. It would be unthinkable to completely overhaul it, but it is dangerously untenable in its current condition. The authoritarian regime is holding the wolf by the ear with the way it treats the population.
See also: by, hold, wolf
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.