have a tiger by the tail

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have a tiger by the tail (third-person singular simple present has a tiger by the tail, present participle having a tiger by the tail, simple past and past participle had a tiger by the tail)

  1. (idiomatic) To be in a difficult or dangerous situation in which one ideally should not remain, but from which one cannot withdraw.
    • 2009, Jack Dalton, A Country Lawyer, Strategic Book Publishing (2009), ISBN 9781606939413, page 75:
      "Sounds like you have a tiger by the tail. Hawthorne won't go down without a battle and will probably sue you if he wins," Clair admonished.