pull rank

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pull rank (on one)

To use one's higher position of authority to dictate what one does or to gain an advantage. Even though I'm the boss, I try not to pull rank. I like to let everyone have a say in how things are done. Whenever new assignments come up, Tom always pulls rank on us and picks the best one for himself.
See also: pull, rank
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pull rank (on someone)

Fig. to assert one's rank, authority, or position over someone when making a request or giving an order. Don't pull rank on me! I don't have to do what you say! When she couldn't get her way politely, she pulled rank and really got some action.
See also: pull, rank
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

pull rank

Use one's higher status to compel obedience or obtain privileges, as in She hated pulling rank in the office, but sometimes it was necessary. This term comes from the military. [c. 1920]
See also: pull, rank
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.

pull rank

If someone in authority pulls rank, they use their power or position to make people do what they want, in a way that is not fair. He was a chief superintendent and just occasionally he pulled rank. The Federal Government threatened to pull rank and override the states with its own legislation. Note: This expression is often used to show disapproval.
See also: pull, rank
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

pull rank

take unfair advantage of your seniority or privileged position.
See also: pull, rank
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

pull ˈrank (on somebody)

make unfair use of your senior position, authority, etc. in an organization, etc: I was really looking forward to going to Rome on business, but then my manager pulled rank on me and said she was going instead.
The position, especially a high one, that somebody has in the army, etc. is called a rank.
See also: pull, rank
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

pull rank, to

To use one’s superior rank or position unfairly, to obtain a special privilege, force obedience, or the like. The term comes from the military in the first half of the 1900s and continues to be used in the armed forces. However, it has also been extended to civilian life. Helen MacInnes had it in Agent in Place (1976): “‘What if he refuses to go with them?’ ‘They’ll be senior men, they’ll pull rank.’”
See also: pull, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
In his opener the Belgian can pull rank over Stanislas Wawrinka, who is going well on clay but has a lot to learn on grass.
It's hard to imagine the insecurities that would make a mother-in-law or a mother try to pull rank over the other.
A source said Barr had not tried to pull rank on the traffic cops who flagged her down.
Mid-table Conference North outfit Worksop should pull rank on the well-supported but limited Unibond side AFC Telford in one of today's 42 FA Trophy ties.
You're going through sexual harassment and because your boss is twice your age, he probably thinks he can pull rank and that you'll be too scared to report him.
The Chargers are one of the great stories of this season, but the Colts should pull rank.
Why, in fact, if the alleged indiscretion was so monumental did the director of communications who witnessed it not pull rank on Lowry at the time?
Dr Martens League Premier Division side County can pull rank themselves on their DML Western Division counterparts.
Here is an artist prepared to speak her mind, refusing to accept the received wisdom of record company masterminds or the self-styled gangstas who pull rank in the garage scene.
And the divisional commander at Maryhill didn't pull rank on the traffic cops who pulled her over.
We can only hope that the likes of John Francome, Mick Fitzgerald, Simon McNeill and Martin Bosley pull rank and insist on being included in the line-up for the `decider'.