take down a peg

take (one) down a peg (or two)

To reduce or damage one's ego or pride; to humble or humiliate one. I'm really glad that pompous oaf lost his court case, maybe that will take him down a peg or two. It's about time that someone took Sarah down a peg. Her snotty rich-kid arrogance is intolerable!
See also: down, peg, take

take (someone) down a peg (or two)

To reduce or damage someone's ego or pride; to humble or humiliate someone. I'm really glad that pompous oaf lost his court case, maybe that will take him down a peg or two. It's about time that someone took Sarah down a peg. Her snotty rich-kid arrogance is intolerable!
See also: down, peg, take

take someone down a peg (or two)

 and take someone down a notch (or two); knock someone down a peg (or two); knock someone down a notch (or two)
Fig. to reprimand someone who is acting too arrogant. The teacher's scolding took Bob down a notch or two. He was so rude that someone was bound to knock him down a peg or two.
See also: down, peg, take

ˌbring/ˌtake somebody ˈdown a peg (or two)

(informal) make somebody realize that they are not as good, important, etc. as they think they are: He didn’t win first prize after all. That’ll bring him down a peg or two.It’s time that somebody took that woman down a peg or two. She behaves as if she were the queen.
See also: bring, down, peg, somebody, take

take (someone) down a peg

To reduce the pride of; humble.
See also: down, peg, take

take (someone) down a peg, to

To deflate or humble someone. This term alludes to lowering a ship’s colors, which were maneuvered by means of pegs. The higher the colors were flown, the greater the honor. The term was already being transferred by 1664, when Samuel Butler wrote (Hudibras), “Trepanned your party with intrigue, And took your grandees down a peg.” John Ray’s Proverbs (1678) defined it as “to remind upstarts of their former condition.” It is still widely used.
See also: down, take