American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

Pull strings

DEFINITION

Use undue influence to gain advancement. Suggests that one is trying to advance their standing with avenues not available to all others.  ‘Strings’ refers to a puppeteer controlling a puppet. Typically implies secretive actions to improve one’s outcome or social status.  (Compare to Ace up the sleeve or Skip ahead.)

  I hope my dad can pull some strings at work and help me get a job at his factory.”

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