keep (one) in line

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keep (one) in line

To ensure that one acts or behaves in the correct or desired manner. You've got to keep your staff in line if you want your department to hit its targets. Their eldest daughter has always been a troublemaker, and they've had a very hard time keeping her in line.
See also: keep, line

keep (someone or an animal) in line

Fig. to make certain that someone behaves properly. It's very hard to keep Bill in line. He's sort of rowdy. The teacher had to struggle to keep the class in line.
See also: keep, line