Definition of call the shots (or tune) in English:

call the shots (or tune)


  • Take the initiative in deciding how something should be done.

    ‘we believe in parents and teachers calling the shots’
    • ‘It's all about getting the initiative and being in a position to call the shots.’
    • ‘He quoted the proverb ‘He who pays the piper, calls the tune, ‘but noted, ‘I think we are very strong on the issue that they mustn't tell us what is good for us.’
    • ‘The taxpayer pays the piper, but the sponsor calls the tune.’
    • ‘We would love to know, Mr. Prime Minister, since for all practical purposes your Government still calls the shots on this supposedly autonomous corporation.’
    • ‘Interview those who own or manage the media and they will tell you that today it's the readership or viewership that calls the shots.’
    • ‘In the economy, however, it is always big capital that calls the shots.’
    • ‘The car sales staff can chat away all they like to the man about brake, horsepower and top speeds but it's really the woman who calls the shots.’
    • ‘In return, the new recruits are willing to do anything for the man who calls the shots.’
    • ‘Increasingly in shaping our foreign policy priorities it is the media which calls the shots.’
    • ‘Early on it was unclear who was really calling the shots.’
    be in charge, be in control, be in command, be the boss, be at the helm, be in the driving seat, be at the wheel, be in the saddle, pull the strings, hold the purse strings