(third-person singular simple present draws a line in the sand, present participle drawing a line in the sand, simple past and past participle drew a line in the sand)
- (intransitive) To lay down a challenge; to provide a test of commitment (often one which carries a high risk) to a cause.
- (idiomatic) To create a real or artificial boundary or distinction between (two places, people or things).
- (idiomatic) To indicate the threshold or level above which something will become unacceptable or will provoke a response; to create a boundary and imply or declare that its crossing will provoke a (negative) response.
Unknown. In the US, it is commonly accepted as a reference to the action of William B. Travis, who, in 1836, while commanding the defenders of the Alamo and contemplating a demand for surrender, drew a line in the sand and asked those willing to remain and defend the Alamo to their deaths, to step across.