put the screws on (one)

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put the screws on (one)

To exert excessive and coercive pressure, force, or threats of violence on one. The bank has really started putting the screws on me ever since I began missing my mortgage payments. I'll send one of my strong men around to him tomorrow to put the screws on him. Then we'll see if he's still so sure he won't sign the contract.
See also: on, put, screw
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

put the screws on

(someone) Go to put the heat on (someone).
See also: on, put, screw
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

put the screws on

see under turn up the heat.
See also: on, put, screw
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.

put the screws on someone

INFORMAL
If someone puts the screws on you, they use pressure or threats to make you do what they want. They had to put the screws on Harper. So far, he was the only person who might know something. Note: This is a reference to a method of torture called the thumbscrew; see the explanation at `turn the screw on someone'.
See also: on, put, screw, someone
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

put the screws on

exert strong psychological pressure on someone so as to intimidate them into doing something. informal
See also: on, put, screw
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

put the ˈscrews on (somebody)

(informal) force somebody to do something, especially by frightening and threatening them: The electricity company is really putting the screws on. We’ve got a week to pay before our supply is cut off!
This idiom refers to thumbscrews (see note above at a turn of the screw).
See also: on, put, screw
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

put the screws on someone

and put the heat on someone and put the squeeze on someone
tv. to pressure someone; to threaten someone to achieve something. He told everything about the plan when they put the screws on him. The cops put the heat on him to try to make him talk.
See also: on, put, screw, someone
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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