hold the line

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Probably an allusion to a line of soldiers remaining steadfastly in position during combat.

Verb[edit]

hold the line

  1. (idiomatic) To firmly maintain one's viewpoint, principles, or situation; to refuse to change one's practices or plans.
    • 1966 Nov. 29, "UN Expected To Hold Line On Red China," The Robesonian (USA), p. 1 (retrieved 29 Aug 2012):
      The UN General Assembly was expected to hold the line again today against seating Red China.
    • 1992 Dec. 9, "Business Loans Up," New York Times (retrieved 29 Aug 2012):
      The quarterly survey . . . said banks were holding the line on lending standards for commercial loans and were more willing to lend to individuals.
    • 2010 July 2, Jay Newton-Small, "Amid a Political Standoff, the Unemployed Still Wait" Time:
      But the GOP lawmakers are happy to take home the news that they have held the line against deficit spending.

References[edit]