(to be) under someone's thumb

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - under someone's thumb

"(to be) under someone's thumb"

to be completely controlled by someone


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - under someone's thumb

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Where are you going?

Colleague 2:  I have to go out and get donuts for the boss. I am also supposed to pick up his dry-cleaning and buy a birthday gift for his wife.

Colleague 1:  Are those duties in your job description?

Colleague 2:  No.

Colleague 1:  Then why do you let the boss keep you under his thumb like that?

Colleague 2:  Because I really need this job.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - under someone's thumb

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  Are you coming to Friday night poker?

Friend 2:  I have to check with my wife.

Friend 1:  She has really got you under her thumb, huh?

Friend 2:  I have no problem with her being in total control. Besides, you have met my wife. Would you want to defy her?

Friend 1:  She is a little scary.

(to be) under someone's thumb - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   532   click for frequency by country

(to be) under someone's thumb - Gerund Form:

Being under his wife's thumb he had to ask permission before going out with his friends.

(to be) under someone's thumb - Examples:

1)  ... only at the beginning, for once he has his "beloved" under his thumb, he manipulates her by lying, cheating. Everything he does is about himself ...

2)  Who is going to arrest him now since everyone is under his thumb?

3)  ... he is feared and respected. He has the security guards under his thumb and is sleeping with the main female officer of their unit.

4)  ... and fired 2,700 judges who might not yet be under his thumb.

5)  ... the great Bobby Jones who said "no one will ever have golf under his thumb" as he highlighted the fluctuating fortunes of this great game and how there is ...

6)  ... because they have the power, wealth and the institutions of international law under their thumb. He had nothing but disdain for those who cringe before their superiors or those ...

7)  ... used every tactic they could to keep the minority party under their thumb.

8)  ... it with her life proves that her detractors failed miserably in keeping her under their thumb. She remained defiant till the end.

9)  The only difference is now they have us under their thumb. How can we possibly act in the country's best long term interest when ...

10)  ... that is as popular as the Google suit, then Google has them under their thumb, and Samsung will do as Google says. 

11)  ... know any better and thought that Mohammed was my friend who I had under my thumb. Now I know that he was the one with the control.

12)  There's a big difference between keeping everybody on track and keeping everybody under your thumb -- and there are definitely times you can grab the reins and provide direction, ...

13)  ... as all the pros know, if you really want to keep someone under your thumb, all you have to do is kill the original copy.

14)  Four basic rules of keeping a man under your thumb -- Make sure he is fed -- Make sure he is sexually sated -- Do ...

15)  It's easier to control things and keep them under your thumb, but you have to learn to delegate, otherwise it's not going to ...

16)  She always believed she had Charles very much under her thumb. She even forgave him after he was caught on camera kissing a ...

17)  She's got Michael under her thumb, forcing him and his team to pull jobs necessary to secure her husband's ...

18)  If she doesn't have Norman under her thumb at all times, he might kill again. 

19)  ... doesn't have to control everything and it doesn't have to be under her thumb.

20)  His wife insisted that far from her husband being under her thumb, he was mentally sound and knew his own mind right up until his death.