keep (someone) under (one's) thumb(redirected from keep them under their thumbs)
keep (someone) under (one's) thumb
To maintain authoritarian control over someone; to continually force someone to submit to one's will. They seem happy when they're out and about, but I hear that Johnny keeps his husband under his thumb at home. Although the job was well paying, I couldn't stand the way the boss kept me under his thumb.
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