EnglishEdit

 
1912 illustration of an inmate being punished in an American prison

EtymologyEdit

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

PronunciationEdit

  • (file)

Prepositional phraseEdit

over a barrel

  1. (idiomatic) In a disadvantageous or helpless situation, especially one in which one may be controlled or victimized.
    • 1947 Sept. 1, "Happy Day," Time:
      Ford had the U.A.W. over a barrel; if it failed to sign by midnight, the U.A.W. would be forced to give up its union shop.
    • 2018 Sept. 1, "AP sources: Lawyer was told Russia had 'Trump over a barrel'," AP News:
      Bruce Ohr revealed that "an unnamed former Russian intelligence official had communicated that Russian intelligence believed 'they had Trump over a barrel', a "sentiment [that] is echoed in Steele's dossier".

SynonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit

ReferencesEdit