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hold a gun to someone's head

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Exert pressure on someone, as in How could I refuse when she was holding a gun to my head? This hyperbolic expression dates from the first half of the 1900s. Also see at gunpoint; hold one's feet to the fire.

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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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