pull in one's horns

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v pull in one's horns make a retreat from an earlier commitment or activity "We'll have to crawfish out from meeting with him","He backed out of his earlier promise","The aggressive investment company pulled in its horns"
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Pull in one's horns to restrain one's ardour or one's pretensions
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. horn; Scand. and Ger. horn, Gael. and W. corn, L. cornu, Gr. keras.