take (one) down a notch (or two)

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take (one) down a notch (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 notch or two. It's about time that someone took Sarah down a notch. Her snotty rich-kid arrogance is intolerable!
See also: down, notch, take

take down a notch

Also, take down a peg. Deflate or humble someone, as in He's so arrogant that I wish someone would take him down a notch, or That defeat took them down a peg. Both notch and peg in this idiom allude to a series, the former of indentations, the latter of knobs, used to raise or lower something. Specifically, peg alludes to the pegs used to lower a ship's colors. Their figurative use dates from the second half of the 1600s. Also see cut down, def. 4.
See also: down, notch, take