leading strings

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leading strings pl ‎(plural only)

  1. Strings or straps by which a child is supported when learning to walk.
    • 1839, Edgar Allan Poe, ‘William Wilson’:
      Thenceforward my voice was a household law; and at an age when few children have abandoned their leading-strings, I was left to the guidance of my own will, and became, in all but name, the master of my own actions.