crack the whip


verb (used without object)

to demand obedience, hard work, or efficiency from others in a harsh or stern manner.

noun

Also called snap the whip. a game in which players in a line, each holding the next, run, roller-skate, or ice-skate for a distance until the leader veers suddenly in a new direction, causing the rest of the line to swing around rapidly and the players at the end of the line to lose their balance or to let go of the other players.

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DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for crack the whip

  • The farmers about here interpret the notes to say, Crack-the-whip!

    Wild Life Near Home|Dallas Lore Sharp

Idioms and Phrases with crack the whip

crack the whip

Behave in a domineering and demanding way toward one's subordinates. For example, He's been cracking the whip ever since he got his promotion. This expression, first recorded in 1647, alludes to drivers of horse-drawn wagons who snapped their whips hard, producing a loud cracking noise. Its figurative use dates from the late 1800s.

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