toe the line


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Related to toe the line: take heart

toe the line

To adhere to the rules of something. (Often misspelled as "tow the line.") From now on, I plan to toe the line and do exactly what Gram tells me, to avoid getting in any more trouble. I expect you to toe the line at all times if you want to remain at this firm, Jonathan.
See also: line, toe

toe the line

Also, toe the mark. Meet a standard, abide by the rules, as in The new director will make us toe the line, I'm sure, or At daycare Brian has to toe the mark, but at home his mother's quite lenient. This idiom refers to runners in a race placing their toes on the starting line and not moving until the starting signal. Its figurative use dates from the early 1800s.
See also: line, toe

toe the line

COMMON If you toe the line, you behave in the way that people in authority have told you to behave. The new legislation could force them out of business if they don't toe the line. Journalists who refuse to toe the line will have to be sacked. Note: You often use a word before line to indicate who the people in authority are. He was sacked for not toeing the Party line. Note: At the start of a race, runners stand in a row with their toe just behind the starting line.
See also: line, toe

toe the line

accept the authority, principles, or policies of a particular group, especially under pressure.
Competitors in a race toe the line by placing their toes on the starting line.
1998 Times An insider suggests…that the said minister is…on the skids. The minister smarts, and toes the line.
See also: line, toe

toe the ˈline

(American English also toe the ˈmark) obey the orders and accept the ideas, aims and principles of a particular group or person: The Prime Minister is angry because some members of the government are not toeing the line. OPPOSITE: overstep the mark/line
See also: line, toe

toe the

line/mark
1. To adhere to doctrines or rules conscientiously; conform.
2. Sports & Games To touch a mark or line with the toe or hands in readiness for the start of a race or competition.
See also: toe

toe the line/mark, to

To meet a particular standard; to conform strictly to a rule. The term comes from track, when the runners in a race line up with their toes placed on the starting line or mark. It began to be used figuratively in the early nineteenth century. The OED cites “He began to think it was high time to toe the mark,” from The Diverting History of John Bull and Brother Jonathan (1813) by “H. Bull-Us.”
See also: line, toe
References in periodicals archive ?
'We are confident that Commander Bravo will toe the line,' Ebrahim said in an interview on the sidelines of the opening of the Japanese consul general's office here on Sunday night.
Angela has always appeared to toe the line between good and evil, and here she reveals the dark secrets that have haunted her for years as Nathan, Peter, Claire and Noah help to uncover her past.
TOE SUCKER NAILED A court has ordered a man who robbed a woman and sucked her toes to toe the line or go to jail.
But it is not clear what actions he could take against powerful owners who failed to toe the line.
With the ink still drying on the resignation of a front-bencher who would not toe the line on grammar schools, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said the party agrees with the current Prime Minister on the "essentials of the way forward" for public services.
The housemates are going hungry after Jayne's latest refusal to toe the line led to the food budget being slashed.
Ms Smith, who has the job of ensuring backbenchers toe the line, will have the power to suspend those who say the wrong things.
One film that perfectly illustrates both the "substance abuse" and the "coming together of local talent" angles mentioned above is Bruce Spangler's remarkable Protection, a gritty, classical humanist look at insoluble problems faced by social workers trying to deal with heroin-addicted clients and their client's efforts to toe the line while leading miserable lives.
Rugby is now so technical and coaches have such influence that an instinctive player like Campese would have to toe the line.
The sentence suggested that those who didn't toe the line would "truly have the devil to pay ...."
Police Director-General Oscar Albayalde on Friday (May 4) met police officials of the Cordillera, Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions to discuss security measures for the May 14 elections and to warn them to 'toe the line.'
COLIN KEANE proved the star in Naas yesterday, completing a superb treble which included victories on Intimation and Toe The Line in the listed events.
OVER nine thousand runners will toe the line for this year's Liverpool Marathon.
Pressure must be put on Iran to toe the line and if they don't, then the wrath of the civilised world will fall on them, but this could happen too late for Israel.
The theologian, Bernard Haring, argues that in almost all religions there is still a temptation to use the potent motive of fear, forcing people to toe the line in religion and other things.