pull the strings


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pull the strings

To have the real control over a person or organization, especially in secret or without it being public knowledge. Many people suspect that major corporations are really pulling the strings of the government. Although the president of the company has the final say in all these matters, in truth it is really his daughter who pulls the strings.
See also: pull, string

pull the strings

COMMON If someone pulls the strings, they control everything that another person or an organization does, often in a way that is not noticed by people. He engineered many of these political changes, pulling the strings from behind the stage. He is the kind of man who prefers to work behind the scenes, pulling the strings. Note: The image here is of a puppet which is controlled by means of strings.
See also: pull, string

pull the strings

be in control of events or of other people's actions.
See also: pull, string

pull the ˈstrings

(secretly) control the actions of other people: I don’t understand this situation at all. I want to know exactly who is pulling the strings.
These two expressions refer to the strings that are attached to a puppet (= a model of a person or an animal) that you pull to make different parts of its body move.
See also: pull, string
References in periodicals archive ?
The famous dad helping pull the strings this time is Sting, whose 24-year-old son (from his first wife), Joe Sumner, fronts promising Brit- rock trio Fiction Plane, once known by the equally awful name Santa's Boyfriend.
Murdo MacLeod is back in midfield to pull the strings with a tactical know-how unsurpassed in the Scottish game.
As fourth seeds they will not pull the strings as easily as they did two years ago when they hosted the fixtures meeting.
After the opener, debutant Ged Brannan started to use his experience to pull the strings for Morecambe, but even he could not find a way through the Cambridge defence.
Andrew Dunemann, Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire pull the strings in midfield and the pace of Mark Calderwood out wide is always a threat.
Instead, all the secrecy and deal-making conjure up the image of the dreaded special interests, the unions, the corporations and the power-brokers that all too often pull the strings of Los Angeles politics.
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