bottle up


verb (tr, adverb)

to restrain (powerful emotion)
to keep (an army or other force) contained or trappedthe French fleet was bottled up in Le Havre

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Idioms and Phrases with bottle up

bottle up

Repress, contain, hold back; also, confine or trap. For example, The psychiatrist said Eve had been bottling up her anger for years, or The accident bottled up traffic for miles. This idiom likens other kinds of restraint to liquid being contained in a bottle. [Mid-1800s]

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