English version

hold somebody to ransom

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishhold somebody to ransomhold somebody to ransomBritish English to put someone in a situation where they have no choice and are forced to agree to your demands He has accused the nurses of holding the government to ransom by threatening to strike. ransom
Examples from the Corpus
hold somebody to ransomThe president said that the company would not be held to ransom by strikes.What's outrageous is that one powerful and greedy bully, followed by its lackeys, can hold the world to ransom.Without some such law the rich could hold the poor to ransom.They could buy out national debts, hold governments to ransom, close down whole economies if they wanted to.By his behaviour Yeltsin has held Clinton to ransom.The idea of one global power holding the other to ransom seems less credible now than it has done previously.The countries that control it will be able to hold their clients to ransom.It attacks the foundations of a free society, encouraging those with industrial or commercial muscle to hold others to ransom.What gives cheaper fuel campaigners the right to hold the country to ransom?
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