tighten/put the thumbscrews on

Definition of tighten/put the thumbscrews on

  1. :  to use harsh measures to force (a person or group) to do something or stop doing something The government is tightening/putting the thumbscrews on dissenters.

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  to make tight or tighter

    :  to become tight or tighter

  1. :  to place in a specified position or relationship :  lay

    :  to move in a specified direction

    :  to send (something, such as a weapon or missile) into or through something :  thrust

  1. :  a throw made with an overhand pushing motion

    :  the act or an instance of putting the shot

    :  an option to sell a specified amount of a security (such as a stock) or commodity (such as wheat) at a fixed price at or within a specified time — compare call 3d

  1. :  being in place :  fixed, set

thumbscrewplay thumbscrews
  1. :  an instrument of torture for compressing the thumb by a screw

    :  a screw having a flat-sided or knurled head so that it may be turned by the thumb and index finger

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up tighten/put the thumbscrews on? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


feeling or affected by lethargy

Get Word of the Day daily email!