lead (one) (around) by the nose

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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!
See also: by, lead, nose

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!
See also: by, lead, nose

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]
See also: by, lead, nose

lead someone by the nose

or

lead someone around by the nose

If someone leads you by the nose or leads you around by the nose, they control you completely so that you do whatever they want. This nation has been led by the nose in foreign affairs. The Government has let itself be led by the nose by the timber trade. Note: This expression is used to indicate that the person or organization being controlled is weak. Note: Bulls and other animals sometimes have rings through their noses so that a rope can be tied to the ring in order to lead them along. This expression is used in Shakespeare's play Othello, when Iago says Othello `will as tenderly be led by the nose as asses are.' (Act I, Scene 3)
See also: by, lead, nose, someone

lead someone by the nose

control someone totally, especially by deceiving them. informal
The image here is of an animal being controlled by a restraint round or in the nose. Shakespeare used this expression in Othello ( 1604 ): ‘The Moor…will as tenderly be led by th'nose As asses are’.
See also: by, lead, nose, someone

lead somebody by the ˈnose

make somebody do everything you want; control somebody completely: Unfortunately, she’s allowed herself to be led by the nose for years, so it doesn’t surprise me that she isn’t happy.
See also: by, lead, nose, somebody
References in classic literature ?
They wanted interesting subjects; variety, resemblance to nature; genuineness of the article, and fresh paint; they had no ancestors whose feelings, as founders of galleries, it was necessary to consult; no critical gentlemen and writers of valuable works to snub them when they were in spirits; nothing to lead them by the nose but their own shrewdness, their own interests, and their own tastes--so they turned their backs valiantly on the Old Masters, and marched off in a body to the living men.
We prepare them carefully for the shysters, gangsters, thieves and bankers that we know will try to rob them with stealth or pen or lead them by the nose into stress-strewn debt.
Ten months of stand-offs, of supposed rebellion by clubs and men like Hibs' Rod Petrie and Hearts' Chris Robinson who were no longer going to let the Old Firm lead them by the nose.
I don't want to lead them by the nose, I want to take them by the hand, gently