Share this entry

tighten (or loosen) the purse strings

Definition of tighten or loosen the purse strings in English:

Restrict (or increase) the amount of money available to be spent: the job losses were the result of a tightening of the purse strings throughout the Civil Service
More example sentences
  • Banks and other investors tend to loosen the purse strings when business owners throw some of their own money into the mix.
  • The Scottish Executive wants to set an example by tightening the purse strings and understanding some economics.
  • When a club has to tighten the purse strings, that's when teams that do have a bit of money will be thinking they can pick up a couple of bargains and they'll all be sniffing about.
See parent entry: purse

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources