War on Language - Toe The Line - DO NOT USE GOOGLE FOR 'LANGUAGE' related advice...
Google search result: The correct version of this phrase is always toe the line. The phrase means “follow the rules or obey an authority.” “Tow the line” is a misspelling based on “toe” and “tow” sounding the same, but “tow the line” is always an error.
Not only is this not the correct definition - using the wrong word 'tow' is just that - using the wrong word, not a misspelling.
There is no definition listed at dictionary.com, but there is a clear distinction between following the rules and obeying an authority - following a directive would be a more clear definition of 'toe the line.' People who toe the line are often not following any 'standard' set of rules, but a belief that must be forced upon them because the premise is not obvious and rather inaccurate to outsiders.