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leading strings

[lee-ding]
plural noun
  1. strings for leading and supporting a child learning to walk.
  2. excessively restraining guidance: His parents tried to keep him in leading strings, but he finally married and moved away.
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Origin of leading strings

First recorded in 1670–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for leading strings

Historical Examples

  • Modern man has cut loose from leading-strings; he stands on his own feet.

    Another Sheaf

    John Galsworthy

  • You can break from the leading-strings of that malignant Mr. Jennings.

  • A high-spirited lad like Alwyn would not be kept in leading-strings.

  • For many years he had been kept in leading-strings by Wolsey's and other clerical influences.

    Henry VIII.

    A. F. Pollard

  • Has sir Willoughby Worret been lead in leading-strings all this time?