toe the line
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Audio (AU) (file)
- (idiomatic) To abide by the rules or conventions.
- Television shows these days do not always toe the line of decency and common sense.
- 1831, Captain Basil Hall RN, Fragments of Voyages and Travels, reprinted from the London Literary Gazette in The Atheneum, 4th series, volume 1, page 188:
- The matter, therefore, necessarily became rather serious; and the whole gang of us being sent for on the quarter deck, we were ranged in a line, each with his toes at the edge of a plank, according to the orthodox fashion of these gregarious scoldings, technically called ‘toe-the-line matches.’
- (idiomatic) To stand at one's mark before a footrace.
- Alberto Salazar is one of the most famous athletes to have toed the line at this great race.
- (abide by rules or conventions): walk the line
- ^ Gary Martin (n.d.) , “Toe the line”, in The Phrase Finder, retrieved September 13, 2020
- ^ Bryan A. Garner (2016) , “toe the line; toe the mark”, in Garner's Modern English Usage, 4th edition, New York: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, OCLC 965547281, page 913
- ^ Michael Quinion (December 18, 2005) , “Toe the line”, in World Wide Words, retrieved September 12, 2020
- ^ “Nautical Terms and Phrases... Their Meaning and Origin”, in Traditions and Trivia, Naval Historical Center, October 19, 1997, archived from the original on July 3, 1998, retrieved September 13, 2020