take lying down


Submit to an insult, rebuke, or other harsh treatment without resisting, as in He won't take that snub lying down. This idiom uses lying down in the sense of “passively.” [Late 1800s] Also see take it, def. 2.

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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.