under lock and key

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

under lock and key

  1. (US, Britain, idiomatic) imprisoned with little or no chance of escape; locked up.
    If it was him we can have him under lock and key in 24 hours.
  2. (US, Britain, idiomatic) safely guarded; locked away.
    • 2008, Edward J. McMillan, Model Policies and Procedures for Not-for-Profit Organizations, page 239
      It is the policy of the organization to keep unused check supplies safeguarded under lock and key.