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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

take (someone) down a peg

To reduce the pride of; humble.
See also: down, peg, take
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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