keep a tight rein on (someone or something)

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keep a tight rein on (someone or something)

To maintain strict or tight control over someone; to not allow someone very much independence or autonomy. Ever since George nearly lost his life savings in a drunken poker match, his husband has started keeping a tight rein on him. The boss has kept a tight rein on her assistant since she hired her.
See also: keep, on, rein, tight

keep a tight rein on someone or something

 and keep a close rein on someone or something
Fig. to watch and control someone or something diligently. (Alludes to controlling a horse by a tight grip on the reins.) The office manager kept a tight rein on the staff. Mary keeps a close rein on her children.
See also: keep, on, rein, tight

keep a tight rein on

exercise strict control over; allow little freedom to.
See also: keep, on, rein, tight