keep (someone) on his/her toes

idiom

Definition of keep (someone) on his/her toes

informal
: to cause someone to be alert and prepared to deal with problems
  • The boss made regular inspections in order to keep employees on their toes.

Word by Word Definitions

keep play
  1. : to retain in one's possession or power

  2. : to refrain from granting, giving, or allowing

  3. : to have in control

  1. : the means or provisions by which one is kept

  2. : one that keeps or protects: such as

  3. : fortress, castle

someone play
  1. : some person : somebody

her play
  1. : of or relating to her or herself especially as possessor, agent, or object of an action — compare 1she

  1. : objective case of she

toe play toes
  1. : one of the terminal members of the vertebrate foot

  2. : the fore end of a foot or hoof

  3. : a terminal segment of a limb of an invertebrate

  1. : to touch, reach, or drive with the toe

  2. : to furnish with a toe

  3. : to drive (something, such as a nail) obliquely


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