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Draw a line in the sand

To draw a line in the sand means to establish limits, going beyond these limits will bring consequences. Drawing a line in the sand is a device which stretches back to Ancient Rome, though the most well-known incidents of drawing a line in the sand are in Peru during the time of Pizarro’s exploration and at the Battle of the Alamo in Texas. Related terms are draws a line in the sand, drew a line in the sand, drawing a line in the sand. Today, draw a line in the sand is used figuratively, though the roots of the idiom date back to when a line was physically drawn in the sand.


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Examples

“I will draw a line in the sand on this issue and stand up for the voice of the people at the convention,” Patrick said in a news release. (The Dallas Morning News)

He said: “It’s with huge regret that I’ve taken this decision but we needed to draw a line in the sand and get the message out that this is not acceptable.” (The Evening Telegraph)

Will South Africans fall for this trick again, or will they and the ANC draw a line in the sand this time? (The Sunday Independent)

Being a parent in America means having to draw a line in the sand between your work and your family. (The New York Post)

“Of particular concern is the unwillingness of New Zealand and Australian universities to draw a line in the sand and have a policy not to accept contracts with suppression clauses.” (The Otago Daily Times)

It’s time for us to draw a line in the sand, and make clear that the above demands are the minimum to which we will hold the current government for the next three and a half years. (The Newfoundland and Labrador Independent)

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