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
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!
See also: by, lead, nose
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]
See also: by, lead, nose
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 someone by the nose


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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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.”
See also: by, lead, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
For the most part we are led by the nose, lied to, conned, ignored and manipulated by politicians who constantly claim the higher ground and the moral certainties.
Viewers willing to be led by the nose into sniffles territory will find some of what they're looking for in "Hope Floats."
"The problem with this council is there are a few hardline unionists on it, and the council is being led by the nose by them.
Where the V8 in the old M3 had to be led by the nose to 3,900rpm where it made most of its torque, this twin turbo 3.0-litre straight-six is doing its best work from just 1,800rpm, offering it a huge advantage in real world driveability.
The only way for Liberals to continue to lead the way on constitutional issues is to break decisively with a Tory party that can only offer more severe austerity in place of growth because it is being led by the nose out of the EU by the Little England party that is Ukip.
We must all become sceptics because it doesn't matter how clever we think we are, we are all liable to be led by the nose. We must follow solid scientific fact and understand why extraordinary claims need very extraordinary evidence.
I'd also welcome some humility from those politicians, particularly Labour ones, who were as gung-ho as Blair for invading Iraq and were equally happy to be led by the nose - or rather collar and lead - by George Bush.
Councils have to be led by the nose when it comes to the simple things in life - and gritting is one of them.
The audience is often shown in through the back door, rather than led by the nose.
It needs men of intelligence, players who can articulate their thoughts and aren't merely led by the nose or herded meekly into line, doffing their caps and tugging their forelocks on the way.
Then, lo and behold, the ban was miraculously lifted and, like sheep, those who would prefer to be at home were led by the nose on to an aircraft.
If the nation, which was led by the nose into war against its will, believes this new arrangement will produce honesty and truth, it deserves to be punished by Blair.
TARGETS statistics and political expediency lead to lies, evasions and the public being led by the nose, particularly in the NHS, as I pointed out last week.
"There are a good many FUW members who feel that the union was allowed to be led by the nose by Mr Jones.
You can't be led by the nose to do something you truly don't want to do, you make those decisions every day and more than likely to will do things you don't want to do but that's ok.