hold someone or something to ransom
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?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
hold someone or something to ransom1 hold someone prisoner and demand payment for their release. 2 demand concessions from a person or organization by threatening damaging action.
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