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lay down the law

Meaning: If you lay down the law, you tell people what they should do in a forceful and stern way.

For example:

  • After we lost our third game in a row, our coach got really angry and laid down the law and said we had to try harder or we'd be out the door.

  • Shelley's parents laid down the law after she got home late and grounded her for a month.

Quick Quiz:

If someone lays down the law, they tell people what they have to do in a
  1. quiet and gentle way
  2. funny and lively way
  3. serious and stern way

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