tighten the screws on (one)

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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

tighten the screws

see under turn up the heat.
See also: screw, tighten

tighten (or turn) the screw (or screws)

exert strong pressure on someone. informal
See also: screw, tighten
References in periodicals archive ?
Tighten the screws on the left side and then the right side.
wrench, shooters can now precisely tighten the screws on their guns to avoid breakage and destroying screwheads.
If it sags, first tighten the screws on the top hinge (Photo 1).