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at gunpoint

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Also, at knifepoint. Under coercion, as in I'm going to hold him at gunpoint for that raise he promised me last year. Both these phrases were at first used literally and later also figuratively. [Mid-1900s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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