hold the line


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hold the line

To firmly uphold a certain position. You can try to sway me all you want, but I'm holding the line—curfew is 10 PM.
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hold the line (at someone or something)

Fig. not to exceed a certain limit regarding someone or something. Having your wife on the payroll is one thing, but no one else from the family—I will hold the line at her. We have to hold the line at this kind of expenditure. Okay, we'll hold the line.
See also: hold, line

hold the line

Maintain the existing position or state of affairs. For example, We'll have to hold the line on spending until our profits rise. This term alludes to former military tactics, in which a line of troops was supposed to prevent an enemy breakthrough. Eventually, it was transferred to civilian enterprises. [Mid-1900s]
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hold the line

1 not yield to the pressure of a difficult situation. 2 maintain a telephone connection during a break in the conversation.
Sense 1 is a military metaphor, from the idea of a line of soldiers withstanding an attack without moving from their positions.
1 1980 Shirley Hazzard The Transit of Venus But if we made one exception we would naturally be in no position to hold the line on similar cases.
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hold the line

To maintain the existing position or state of affairs: had to hold the line on salary increases.
See also: hold, line
References in periodicals archive ?
(T) From The Knap to Watch House Beach the preferred policy is one of no active intervention for the entire coastline, except at the Knap where the policy will be to hold the line for 20 years and then adopt 10.00 8 News and Weather (T) Tonight; Weather (T) Agenda ITV''s political Tom Bradby presents a on the week''s main 10.50 all a plan of managed realignment.
"He will tell me what he is going to do sometimes, so my job is to hold the line and the width.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pound guard was able to hold the line and help a young team mature.
A US military report leaked to the Daily Mirror reads: "This effort is intended not to overwhelm Taliban forces but to hold the line and disrupt closer relations between the Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Islamic Jihad Union, Islamist factions from Central Asia to the north."
The South Korean Forces were pushed back to a small area around the port of Pusan; a small American detachment from Japan was rushed in to help initially to hold the line until UN reinforcements arrived.
He is a decent player, but he must be able to "Hold the Line" so to speak and then attack when it is least expected.
The RAB sought to hold the line on costs by reducing the starting salary for janitors, while offering a pay increase for current employees.
San Diego and El Paso were the first high-traffic areas targeted by the agency through Operation Gatekeeper and Operation Hold the Line. But rather than reducing the scale of migration across the Southern border, this strategy has had the effect of pushing hopeful migrants away from these cities and forcing them to cross in desert regions under life-threatening conditions of extreme heat and no access to water.
But the Bush administration also opted to hold the line on TRIO programs, which help recruit and retain disadvantaged students in higher education.
"The carriers are going to try to hold the line, because summer's the high season [in the United States] and they don't want to be accused of gouging," he says.
Top-line growth will be limited as insurers hold the line on writing only profitable new business.
The two women waded across the Rio Grande near El Paso, where the INS's Operation Hold the Line is in effect.
The 2 percent cap would be enforced by a "sequester." This means automatic, across-the-board reductions in spending would kick in if Congress failed to take the necessary steps to hold the line. Social Security would be exempt from the sequester.
Logan said the Sault has already dipped into its reserves in order to hold the line on taxes.