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 ?
A key element of this program will be holding the line on taxes now while working to lower taxes in the future.
military be reshaped--transformed--while holding the line on defense spending?
Councillors will be told today there are options of doing nothing, holding the line, advancing the line or retreating against the sea.
This provides a great exercise in patience and holding the line until a shot is taken.
Police administrators who recognize the benefit of using volunteers can provide outstanding service to the community while holding the line on costs.
By holding the line on price, we expect to sell more Corona Extra and to enjoy continued exceptional growth for Corona Light." Holding price makes Gambrinus a distinct exception in the marketplace, and wholesaler support following the announcement was enthusiastic, according to Alvarez.
But we're holding the line on the price; Macklowe thinks, and I agree, that we can get at least $20 per SF above the rest of the building...