lead by the nose
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Related to lead by the nose: led by the nose
lead (one) (around) by the nose
To exert a high degree of control over someone else. I can't stand the way your mother leads you around by the nose like that and tells you what to do!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
lead someone by the nose
1. Fig. to force someone to go somewhere (with you); to lead someone by coercion. John had to lead Tom by the nose to get him to the opera. I'll go, but you'll have to lead me by the nose.
2. Fig. to guide someone very carefully and slowly. (As if the person were not very smart.) He will never find his way through the tax form unless you lead him by the nose. Don't lead me by the nose! I'm coming!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
lead by the nose
Dominate or control someone, as in "The Moor ... will tenderly be led by the nose as asses are" (Shakespeare, Othello, 1:3). This expression alludes to an animal being led by a ring passed through its nostrils. [Late 1500s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
lead by the nose, to
To dominate. Although this phrase, which alludes to an animal led by a ring passed through its nostrils, occurs in a slightly different form in the Bible (Isaiah 37:29), its first use in English appears in a translation of Lucian’s Dialogues of the Gods (ca. a.d. 170), cited by Erasmus in Adagia. By the sixteenth century it had been transferred to human beings. Arthur Golding’s translation of Calvin’s writings (1583) states it as, “Men . . . suffer themselves to be led by the nose like brute beasts.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer