tighten the screws


: to put more pressure on someone or something to do something
We need to tighten the screws on people who've been evading the tax.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Thread the screws by hand to ensure the two pieces are lining up, then tighten the screws. Kamron Sanders, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Aug. 2022 But the images of civilians dead in the street in Bucha led Western countries to levy more sanctions and tighten the screws on Moscow even further. David Goldman, CNN, 6 Apr. 2022 Across Europe, national leaders have rallied together after Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion by pledging to arm Ukraine’s outgunned defenders, tighten the screws of sanctions on Moscow, and dial back the continent’s dependency on Russian natural gas. Drew Hinshaw And Ian Lovett, WSJ, 3 Apr. 2022 In fact, the writer, who co-wrote the series with Marissa Lestrade, wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to deepen his characters and tighten the screws of the plot. Emily Zemler, Los Angeles Times, 10 Feb. 2022 The Dolphins defense struggled against the run and on third downs earlier this year, but began to tighten the screws a month ago. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, 14 Nov. 2021 Stocks are holding relatively steady, and yields are slumping Wednesday after the Federal Reserve announced its latest hike to interest rates, while hinting it may not tighten the screws much more on the economy and Wall Street. Stan Choe, Fortune, 22 Mar. 2023 And the Fed continues to tighten the screws. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 4 Dec. 2022 Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, in a phone conversation with European Union Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, has pressed Europe to tighten the screws on Russia even further with a new round of sanctions. David A. Andelman, CNN, 6 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tighten the screws.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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Cite this Entry

“Tighten the screws.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tighten%20the%20screws. Accessed 9 Jun. 2023.

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