keep one in place

keep (one) in (one's) place

1. To render one motionless or immobile. Please try to keep the students in their places before the recital begins. I knew I had to run, but fear kept me in my place.
2. To cause one to be or remain in a position of subservience, humility, or lowered dignity or self-esteem, especially through emotional abuse or manipulation. My ex-boyfriend used to fill me with praise in some instances, then make all sorts of degrading comments to keep me in my place. I'm so happy to finally be out of that relationship. The company has a really toxic atmosphere that keeps lower employees in their places while those in upper management do as they like.
See also: keep, place
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

keep one in one's place

to make someone stay in the proper rank or station. I guess you want to keep me in my place, is that right? I know enough to keep myself in my place.
See also: keep, one, place
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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