tighten the screws


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tighten the screws on (one)

To exert excessive and coercive pressure, force, or threats of violence on one. The bank has really started tightening the screws on me ever since I began missing my mortgage payments. I'll send one of my strong men around to him tomorrow to tighten the screws on him. Then we'll see if he's still so sure he won't sign the contract.
See also: on, screw, tighten
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

tighten the screws

see under turn up the heat.
See also: screw, tighten
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Haley said the US will "tighten the screws" and putting pressure economically, diplomatically, politically and internationally.
He's incredibly concerned about anything and everything around him, I think this was a message to South Korea after the election and so what we're going to do is continue to tighten the screws. He feels it.
The move comes as the regulator looks to tighten the screws on brokerage houses and also "critically reviews the role of statutory auditors of brokerage houses".
Babe starts to tighten the screws on the Coker family
So, the opportunity to tighten the screws won't come until December.
The law -- Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act ( MCOCA) -- will enable the police to tighten the screws on the accused as their confessions before the investigators would now be admissible in court.
New York City Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio, who had teamed up with UANI to launch the Iran Watch List, said, 'Consumers here have the power to force these companies out of Iran and tighten the screws on Tehran's regime.
The ministry pointed out that these practices come as a continuation of the fierce attack against the prisoners after the right-winged extremist Israeli government gave the green light to the prison's administration to increase the pressure on the prisoners and tighten the screws, for political gains.
Chamberlain, who is currently the president of the Middle East Institute, said Pakistani authorities should tighten the screws to deal with situation where the Taliban might try to overthrow the weak government and take control.
If the door is higher or lower than adjacent doors, loosen the mounting screws on both hinges, raise or lower the door, then tighten the screws. Place a straightedge across the door top or bottom to make sure it's level with neighboring doors.
Kumar Sangakkara also played a vital knock of 54 to tighten the screws on the hosts, who had scored 208 in their first innings in reply to Sri Lanka's 384.
Don't tighten the screws fully until the pan is level.
You can loosen the installation screws to insert the shims: use as many as are necessary until the units are plumb, then trim off the excess shims and tighten the screws.