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lean on (someone or something)
1. To use someone or something as a physical support. Don't put any pressure on your ankle until we get to the nurse—lean on me instead.
2. To rest something on someone or something else as a physical support. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "lean" and "on." Don't lean anything on that wall while the paint is still wet.
3. To rely or depend on someone or something. I know I can always lean on my mom for emotional support.
4. To pressure someone to do or relinquish something that one wants. I'll get my thugs to lean on him—then he'll pay up!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
lean on someone or something
1. Lit. to incline or press on someone or something. Don't lean on me. I'm not strong enough to support both of us. Lean on the wall and rest a little while.
2. Fig. to depend on someone or something. You lean on your parents too much. You must be more independent. You can't lean on the government forever.
lean on someone
Fig. to try to make someone do something; to coerce someone to do something. (From lean on someone or something.) If she refuses to do it, lean on her a bit. Don't lean on me! I don't have to do it if I don't want to.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Rely on, depend on, as in He's leaning on me for help. [Mid-1400s]
2. Exert pressure on one, especially to obtain something or make one do something against his or her will. For example, The gangsters were leaning on local storekeepers to pay them protection money. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
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.
1. To rest on or be supported by something: I leaned on the crutch to rest my injured foot.
2. To place something so that it rests on or is supported by some other thing: Don't lean the ladder on the awning—you might damage it.
3. To rely on someone for assistance or support: When I became sick, I leaned on my family for support.
4. Slang To pressure someone to do something: The mobsters leaned on the store owner to sell his business.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.