put the fear of God into


Terrify someone, as in The school counselor put the fear of God into the girls when she talked about AIDS. This phrase alludes to a time when most people had a mingled feeling of dread and reverence toward the deity. [Late 1800s]

QUIZZES

DON’T VACILLATE! VANQUISH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

It’d be a real faux pas to miss this quiz on the words from August 3–9, 2020!
Question 1 of 7
What does “vacillate” mean?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.