hold a gun to someone's head


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.

QUIZZES

BECOME A PRO CHEF WITH THIS EXQUISITE CUISINE QUIZ!

Even if you can't be a professional chef, you can at least talk like one with this vocabulary quiz.
Question 1 of 9
You may have read the word "simmer" in a recipe or two, but what does it really mean?

Words nearby hold a gun to someone's head

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