turn up the heat(redirected from turned up the heat)
turn up the heat
1. To pressure someone to do something. We need to turn up the heat on those guys so that they finally pay their debt to us.
2. To start to do something with more determination or intensity. Wow, they really turned up the heat on their opponents in the second half.
turn up the heat (on someone or something)
Fig. to put pressure on someone or something; apply additional pressure to someone or something. The FBI turned the heat up on the gang. The police turned up the heat on the people who park illegally every day.
turn up the heat on
Also, put the heat or screws or squeeze on ; tighten the screws on. Pressure someone, as in The cops turned up the heat on drivers who show signs of drunkenness, or They said they'd tighten the screws on her if she didn't confess. All of these slangy terms allude to forms of physical coercion or torture. The first dates from about 1930, the variants using screws from the mid-1800s, and squeeze from the late 1700s.
turn up the heat on someone
COMMON If you turn up the heat on a person or situation, you make a situation more serious or difficult by putting pressure on people. The firm will be turning up the heat on its rivals. Note: You can also just say that someone turns up the heat. The tax office has turned up the heat in the illegal payments controversy. Note: People sometimes say that one person turns the heat on another. Jansen turned the heat on Celtic last night by promising to return to the club — if they get rid of the present manager first.
turn up the heatintensify pressure or criticism. informal
turn up the heat
Increase or intensify some activity. The use of “turn up” for literally increasing light or heat dates from the late 1800s. This figurative usage is much newer and appears in such contexts as, for example, “This interrogation is going nowhere; we’ll have to turn up the heat.”