pull rank, to
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.
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]
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.
pull ranktake unfair advantage of your seniority or privileged position.
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.
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