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take lying down

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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.

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