hold (one) at a respectful distance

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hold (one) at a respectful distance

To prevent one from becoming physically close to or emotionally intimate with someone else as an act of deference or propriety. Hold the paparazzi at a respectful distance, will you? The actress doesn't want to get mobbed the second she gets out of the car. All professors here must hold their students at a respectful distance.
See also: distance, hold
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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