Значение идиомы over a barrel

[over a barrel] also [over the barrel] {adv. phr.}, {informal} Inthe power of your enemies; not able to do anything about what happensto you; in a helpless condition; trapped.

Bill had Tom over abarrel because Tom owed him money.

Ralph has me over a barrel; Ineed five dollars, and he won’t lend it to me unless I let him use mybicycle.

Compare: ON THE ROPES.

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2 choosing a career.