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.
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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 ?
On issue handling, when Bush is tested versus Congress, Bush wins on Iraq (54%-35%), keeping America prosperous (46%-43%), improving education (45%-44%), holding the line on taxes (53%-34%), safeguarding America from a terrorist threat (62%-28%), and shares your values (50%-43%).
Some momentum on the reform front continues, evidenced by the government holding the line on minimum wage growth and moving ahead in the legislative process to pass bankruptcy reform.
On the handling of key issues, voters believe that Bush would do a better job dealing with Iraq (53%-41%), holding the line on taxes (53%-37%) and safeguarding America from a terrorist threat (54%-37%).
Holding the line on taxes and creating a business-friendly environment will continue to be among our highest priorities," Romney said.
FTTmaX has potential applications for a variety of service providers seeking revenue opportunities from new subscriber services while holding the line on costs, including MSOs, incumbent local-exchange carriers (ILECs), competitive local-exchange carriers (CLECs), overbuilders, municipalities, independent home builders, and utilities.
The workers are holding the line for America's health care against managements' proposed cuts that would make health insurance unaffordable and unattainable for grocery workers.
The FTT maX has potential applications for a variety of service providers seeking revenue opportunities from new subscriber services while holding the line on costs, including MSOs, incumbent local-exchange carriers (ILECs), competitive local-exchange carriers (CLECs), overbuilders, municipalities, independent home builders, and utilities.