to put the screws to/on

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - put the screws to

"to put the screws to/on"

to apply pressure on someone to do something;

to force or coerce someone


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - put the screws to

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: Looks like our suppliers are putting the screws to us.

Colleague 2: What are they pressuring for?

Colleague 1: I guess there has been some world-wide issues with the production of the raw material so they are demanding a higher price.

Colleague 2: That put us in a difficult position. If there are no other supplies out there, there's really no choice but to accede to their demands.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - put the screws to

A couple are talking ...

Wife: The recent ten percent pay cut in your salary has put the screws on our family budget.

Husband: What can we do? The economy is in a downturn.

Wife: With the pay cut we will be forced to cut back on luxuries. No more eating out or weekend getaways.

Husband: Ouch.

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to put the screws to/on - Usage:


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to put the screws to/on - Gerund Form:

Putting the screws to their suppliers by threatening to withdraw business, they coerced a lower price.

to put the screws to/on - Examples:

1)  I wonder if Murdoch helped Bush put the screws to Blair to make sure he was on board for the Iraq war?

2)  Law Enforcement will find a way to put the screws to you.

3)  ... all because we're forced to, just like there are those who put the screws to the other parent simply because they can.

4)  Don't think Obama wouldn't say the same thing when environmentalists put the screws to him. This is the democrats position on "global warming".

5)  As part of the campaign for control, Silber began to put the screws to campus newspapers that criticized him. Advertising was withdrawn from the BU News.

6)  I for one am fine if the SEC put the screws to Paulson and had him flip against Goldman. Goldman is the cancer here.

7)  This is the time to put the screws to the GOP and stop them from continuing Operation Footdrag.

8)  Definitely put the screws on your suppliers, and don't let them rip you off for pricing.

9)  ... explained this news is designed to press the EU negotiatiors to put the screws on Iran and force it to suspend all its activities related to uranium enrichment.

10)  I now see why Bipisha and Oxfam are so keen to put the screws on the Indian middle classes -- got to fill that funding gap from somewhere.

11)  ... assessment system isn't meant to be fair. It is designed to put the screws on claimants, knowing that many who are entitled to benefits will be deterred from ...

12)  The Americans can put the screws on the Bros on their own unaccountable assets and investments in the US and elsewhere.

13)  ... argues that a switch to Canadian oil makes a grand way to put the screws on Saudi Arabia and other states like it. 

14)  I want you to put the screws on the meat packers to sign a contract with the union. 

15)  ... but having retired they couldn't put the screws on him.

16)  ... running back 10 years to catch doping cheats, but we should be putting the screws to any dopers that are caught.

17)  Apple is putting the screws to a handful of European newspapers, no longer allowing them to provide their paid ...

18)  The Obama administration is putting the screws to Pakistan, cutting roughly 40 percent of U.S. military assistance.

19)  ... climate change, peak output and the need to conserve soil and water putting the screws on fossil fuel production, this is going to be an energy-hungry world. 

20)  ... as members began to get better paying jobs, the national office began putting the screws on to significantly increase weekly voluntary sustainer payments.