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

Toe the line

DEFINITION

Obey the rules. Imagine a line that one should not exceed and you keep your toes near it but never beyond. Perhaps comes from track competition where all competitors are aligned before the race and can not step over it without being disqualified. (Compare to Keep one’s nose clean.)

“The teacher has sent you away from class to see the principal twice this year. He said you had to toe the line or end up being expelled from the school.”

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