take cue from

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take a/(one's) cue from (someone or something)

To choose one's actions in response to someone or something else. Just take your cue from the cat as he adjusts to his new home, and try not to smother him. I take my cue from my boss in serious matters like this.
See also: cue, take

take one's cue from someone

to use someone else's behavior or reactions as a guide to one's own. (From the theatrical cue as a signal to speak, etc.) If you don't know which spoons to use at the dinner, just take your cue from John. The other children took their cue from Tommy and ignored the new boy.
See also: cue, take