draw a line in the sand

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To lay down a challenge; to provide a test of commitment (often one which carries a high risk) to a cause.

Etymology:

  • Unknown. In the US, it is commonly accepted as a reference to the action of William B. Travis, who, in 1836, while commanding the defenders of the Alamo and contemplating a demand for surrender, drew a line in the sand and asked those willing to remain and defend the Alamo to their deaths to step across.
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Submitted on July 07, 2010

Additional definitions for 'draw a line in the sand':

draw a line in the sandTo create a real or artificial boundary or distinction between (two places, people or things).
draw a line in the sandTo indicate the threshold or level above which something will become unacceptable or will provoke a response; to create a boundary and imply or declare that its crossing will provoke a (negative) response.
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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to draw a line in the sand

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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"draw a line in the sand." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 Feb. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/draw-a-line-in-the-sand_12056>.

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