Burn your bridges


      • Unwilling to return to a previous situation or relationship
        Cutting off all ties and connections to a person, place, or situation, often in a dramatic and irreversible manner

      • Eliminate all options or alternatives
        Leaving no possibility for retreat or reversal of a decision or action

    Examples of Burn your bridges

    • After the argument, John decided to burn his bridges with his ex-girlfriend.

      This idiom means to cut off all contact or relationships with someone completely. In this example, John is ending his relationship with his ex-girlfriend in a dramatic and final way by "burning his bridges" with her. This phrase comes from the idea that burning a bridge would make it impossible to go back and repair the relationship, just as cutting off all contact with someone would make it difficult or impossible to reconcile.


    The idiom "burn your bridges" is often used to warn against taking drastic and irreversible actions that will result in a loss of options or opportunities. It can also refer to cutting off ties and connections with a person or group, often as a way to demonstrate a strong stance or commitment.

    In both cases, the intention is to discourage someone from making a decision or taking action that will have negative consequences in the future. It emphasizes the importance of considering all possibilities and being cautious before making a permanent decision.

    Origin of "Burn your bridges"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to military tactics, specifically to the practice of burning bridges after crossing them to prevent the enemy from following. By burning the bridge, the soldiers were committing to their path and leaving no option for retreat.

    Over time, the idiom has evolved to be used in a broader sense, referring to any situation where one eliminates all possibilities for going back. It is often used in personal and professional contexts to advise against making hasty decisions or cutting off ties without considering the consequences.