Cut and run


      • To escape or leave a difficult or dangerous situation quickly and without hesitation
        When faced with a challenging or precarious situation, one may decide to cut and run in order to avoid further harm or negative consequences. This can be seen as a cowardly or selfish act, as it involves prioritizing one's own safety or well-being over potential consequences for others.

      • To abruptly end a relationship or commitment without any explanation or warning
        This usage of the idiom often refers to a romantic relationship, where one person suddenly decides to end things without giving the other person any closure or explanation. It can also be used in other contexts, such as a business partnership or friendship, where one person decides to cut ties without any warning or justification.

      • To take the easy way out or avoid facing a difficult or unpleasant task or responsibility
        This meaning of the idiom is often used when someone is avoiding a challenging or undesirable task by finding an easier or more convenient alternative. It can also imply a lack of commitment or determination to see something through to the end.

    Examples of Cut and run

    • John decided to cut and run when he realized that the deal he was negotiating was not in his favor.

      This idiom is used when someone abruptly leaves a situation, especially when it becomes unfavorable or uncomfortable. In this example, John decided to abandon the negotiation and leave because he realized that the terms were not favorable to him.

    • After the burglar was caught, the security guard suggested that they should cut and run before the media arrived.

      In this example, the security guard suggested that they should leave the scene quickly to avoid being caught up in the media frenzy that would follow the burglar's arrest.

    • When the storm hit, the couple decided to cut and run instead of waiting it out.

      This idiom is often used in situations where there is danger or uncertainty, such as a storm. In this example, the couple decided to leave instead of waiting out the storm because they were uncertain about how severe it would be.

    • The CEO announced that the company would be cutting and running from the industry, citing declining profits and increased competition.

      This idiom is often used in a business context to describe a company's decision to leave an industry. In this example, the CEO announced that the company would be leaving the industry because of declining profits and increased competition.

    • After the politician was caught in a scandal, his supporters suggested that he should cut and run to avoid further damage to his reputation.

      This idiom is often used in a political context to describe a politician's decision to leave office or politics altogether after a scandal. In this example, the politician's supporters suggested that he should leave politics to avoid further damage to his reputation after being caught in a scandal.


    The common theme among these various meanings of "cut and run" is the idea of avoiding or escaping something. Whether it is a dangerous situation, a relationship, or a difficult task, the phrase implies a quick and often abrupt departure or avoidance of responsibility.

    Origin of "Cut and run"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to naval terminology. During battles at sea, if a ship was in danger of sinking, the crew would often cut the anchor line and sail away in order to save themselves. This act became known as "cutting and running." Over time, the phrase evolved to also refer to deserting a ship or abandoning a mission.

    In the 18th and 19th centuries, the phrase began to be used in a more figurative sense, referring to any hasty or unexpected departure. It eventually took on the meaning of avoiding responsibility or commitment, which is the most common usage of the idiom today.

    Overall, the idiom "cut and run" has its roots in nautical history but has evolved to be used in a variety of contexts to convey the idea of escaping or avoiding something.