strings attached

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strings attached

One or more conditions, restrictions, obligations, or arrangements that must be met for one to attain something that they desire. The Senate is willing to allow the bill to pass, but you can be sure that the final draft will have several strings attached. I want to help him, but I'm worried that there will be strings attached.
See also: attached, string

with strings attached

Having one or more special conditions, restrictions, obligations, or arrangements that must be met. The Republicans in the Senate are willing to allow the bill to pass, but with strings attached.
See also: attached, string
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

with strings attached

With some condition or limitation. This term originated simply as “a string” in the second half of the 1800s; “attached” was added a few decades later. Sandra Brown used it in her novel Alibi (1999): “His fantasy evening with the most exciting woman he had ever met not only came with strings attached, but those strings were probably going to form a noose that would ultimately hang him.” The term is also used in the negative, no strings attached, as in “They made a huge donation to the college with no strings attached; it was to be used however it was needed.”
See also: attached, string
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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