tighten the screws on (one)

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.

tighten (or turn) the screw (or screws)

exert strong pressure on someone. informal
See also: screw, tighten
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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