View synonyms for purse strings

purse strings

plural noun

  1. the right or power to manage the disposition of money:

    in control of the family purse strings.

purse strings

plural noun

  1. control of finance or expenditure (esp in such phrases as hold or control the purse strings )

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Word History and Origins

Origin of purse strings1

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. hold the purse strings, to have the power to determine how money shall be spent.
  2. loosen / tighten the purse strings, to increase or decrease expenditures or the availability of money:

    The budget committee is in the process of tightening the purse strings.

More idioms and phrases containing purse strings

Financial resources or control of them, as in His mother doesn't want to let go of the purse strings because he may make some foolish investments . This expression is often extended to hold or tighten or loosen the purse strings , as in As long as Dad holds the purse strings, we have to consider his wishes , or The company is tightening the purse strings and will not be hiring many new people this year . The purse strings in this idiom are the means of opening and closing a drawstring purse. [Early 1400s]

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Example Sentences

These are longer than traditional ads, mini-stories, designed to pull at heart- as well as purse strings.

Without a doubt, it will loosen the purse strings of nervous investors.

But would it help the movie if the studio loosened up the purse strings?

The problem extends far beyond the politicians who hold sway over the nation's purse strings.

Seems their parents, shell-shocked by their brokerage statements, have tightened the purse strings.

He was a magnificent paymaster to his sneaks; and bound them to him with the strongest of all ties—his purse-strings.

"It would take more than a gallon of rum to make old Cameron loosen his purse strings," she remembered having heard Conal say.

I should have to coax my parents into loosening their purse-strings, and get them to buy me a beautiful new jacket.

The only one that could be called so was Don Pedro Miranda, and he would rather have a tooth drawn than loosen his purse-strings.

The young voevoda whom the people loved had the art of opening purse-strings as well as of forcing strongholds.


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




purse seinepurse-string suture