lay on the line

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

lay on the line

  1. (idiomatic, transitive) To state strongly, clearly, and accurately.
    • 1957 June 10, "The Budget: Remember Guam!," Time:
      Martin presented the list to the 30-member House Republican Policy Committee, laid the facts on the line in cold political terms.
    • 2011 June 10, David Colman, "Crosses That Bear the Past," New York Times (retrieved 30 July 2011):
      Finally, though, he laid it on the line. “I said to her, ‘You gotta tell me if you still love me.’”
  2. (idiomatic, transitive) To risk.
    • 1959 July 5, "National Affairs: The Democratic Governors in 1960," Time:
      California's Edmund Gerald Brown, 54, laid his political prestige on the line with a sheaf of legislative proposals.
    • 2011 March 13, Oliver Thomas, "America's churches can change the world," USA Today (retrieved 30 July 2011):
      It was King and his network of Christian and Jewish clergy who laid their jobs and, in some cases, their lives on the line until my fellow Southerners were too ashamed and embarrassed to continue their wickedness.