pin somebody down


1. to clarify something, to get a grasp of something, to understand, to commit to an answer






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pin sb/sth down about facts/details/arrangements, hard to pin down

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Literally to pin someone down means to hold someone in a position where they cannot rise or move. Figuratively to pin someone down means to force someone to clarify what they mean or to give a definitive answer to a question.

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  1. I tried to get a feeling for the Minister's views, but she was evasive and it was hard to pin her down.
  2. I'm not sure where we are meeting tomorrow, I'll get in touch with Daniel and try to pin him down on a venue.

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  1. Our customers should be very clear about our position and not have to pin our answer down in any way.
  2. When we asked a direct question our manager danced around it, became evasive and refused to be pinned down.

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