hold someone's feet to the fire

hold (one's) feet to the fire

To put pressure on one to do, say, or consent to something. The journalist has spent the last year holding the prime minister's feet to the fire in relation to her campaign promises about wealth distribution. People have been holding her feet to the fire to take the images down from the website.
See also: feet, fire, hold, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hold someone's feet to the fire

Also, keep someone's feet to the fire. Pressure someone to consent to or undertake something, as in The only way you'll get him to agree is to hold his feet to the fire. This idiom alludes to an ancient test of courage or form of torture in which a person's feet were so placed. It began to be used figuratively in the second half of the 1900s. Also see hold a gun to someone's head.
See also: feet, fire, hold, to
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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