- the right or power to manage the disposition of money: in control of the family purse strings.
- hold the purse strings, to have the power to determine how money shall be spent.
- loosen/tighten the purse strings, to increase or decrease expenditures or the availability of money: The budget committee is in the process of tightening the purse strings.
Origin of purse strings
Examples from the Web for purse strings
He carries his purse-strings in a knot which it would break his heart to unfasten.The Suitors of Yvonne
She will hold the purse-strings, and make him meaner than he is already.That Stick
Charlotte M. Yonge
If you will draw your purse-strings a little wider, and allow 1d.The Cook's Oracle; and Housekeeper's Manual
But after the dismissal of the Whigs the Queen drew tight the purse-strings.The Journal to Stella
His two children were for ever tugging at his purse-strings.Johnny Ludlow, Fourth Series
Mrs. Henry Wood
- control of finance or expenditure (esp in such phrases as hold or control the purse strings)
Idioms and Phrases with purse strings
Financial resources or control of them, as in His mother doesn't want to let go of the purse strings because he may make some foolish investments. This expression is often extended to hold or tighten or loosen the purse strings, as in As long as Dad holds the purse strings, we have to consider his wishes, or The company is tightening the purse strings and will not be hiring many new people this year. The purse strings in this idiom are the means of opening and closing a drawstring purse. [Early 1400s]