Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (intransitive, idiomatic) To manipulate a situation, especially by asking favours of others; to use one's influence with others to attain a desired goal.
- He has the job not because of talent, but because his dad pulled strings with the boss.
- (intransitive, idiomatic, often with “the” or a possessive adjective (such as “his”) before “strings”) To control a person, organization, or situation by operating behind the scenes, as a puppeteer controls a marionette.
- 1992, Richard Berke, "The 1992 Campaign: Political Memo," New York Times, 3 April (retrieved 18 July 2010):
- Mr. Brown is touchy about accusations that he is a packaged candidate, and bristles at the suggestion that Mr. Caddell pulls his strings.
- 2003, Michael Elliott et al., "The War That Never Ends," Time, 7 July:
- "It may have begun that way," says a senior Pentagon official, "but as these attacks grow more numerous, you get the sense that there's someone pulling the strings at a higher level."
2011 September 29, Jon Smith, “Tottenham 3 - 1 Shamrock Rovers”, in BBC Sport:
- But with the lively Dos Santos pulling the strings behind strikers Pavlyuchenko and Defoe, Spurs controlled the first half without finding the breakthrough their dominance deserved.