blurred lines


Senior Member

What does underlined phrase mean? It is a kind of idiom?

He might have completed the Great Rite with Ianthe of his own free will, but he certainly hadn’t enjoyed it. Some line had been blurred— badly.

Source: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J.Maas
Context: He had sex with Ianthe of his own free will and did his duty to his court, even if he hates Ianthe.
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    It refers to "a line that you do not cross over". Whether it was a line drawn for his free will or a line drawn for his enjoyment is not clear. But probably free will.

    It is probably pulled from this phrase:

    Line in the sand (phrase) - Wikipedia

    A line in the sand is a metaphor with two similar meanings:

    • The first meaning is of a point (physical, decisional, etc.) beyond which one will proceed no further. An example would be a person who might agree to visit a bar with his friends, but will go no further (i.e. not partake in drinking alcohol).
    • The second meaning is that of a point beyond which, once the decision to go beyond it is made, the decision and its resulting consequences are permanently decided and irreversible. An example would be to commit funds to completing a project (as opposed to deferral or cancellation); once committed, the funds cannot be spent on another activity, and the project will either succeed or fail.


    Senior Member
    It sounds like a variation of crossing a line, which refers to doing something unacceptable, that's just over the "line", or border, from acceptable.

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