cut some slack


      • give someone a break
        To allow someone to make mistakes or not be too strict with them

      • reduce expectations or demands
        To lower the level of pressure or demands on someone

    Examples of cut some slack

    • Sarah's tight deadline has left her stressed and overwhelmed. Her boss recognized this and told her team to cut some slack for her and give her some extra support during this busy period.

      The phrase "cut some slack" is used to mean giving someone more flexibility, leeway, or leniency in a situation where they are facing excessive pressure or expectations. In this case, Sarah's boss is asking her team to ease up on her a bit and allow her some more latitude or forgiveness, in recognition of the heavy workload she is currently dealing with. This can help to alleviate some of the stress and strain that Sarah is experiencing, and allow her to better manage the demands being placed upon her at this time.

    • John's boss was constantly criticizing his work, making it difficult for him to complete his tasks. To ease the pressure, his colleagues decided to "cut some slack" and gave him more time to finish his assignments.

      The phrase "cut some slack" is used to mean letting someone have a little more leeway or flexibility in a situation. In this example, John's coworkers are allowing him more time to complete his tasks because they recognize that his boss's criticism has made it tough for him to meet deadlines. By cutting him some slack, they hope to alleviate some of the stress and allow him to do a better job.

    • Sarah had received a harsh penalty for a minor mistake in her work, which left her feeling frustrated and demoralized. Her manager called her into his office and advised her to "cut some slack" to her coworkers, reminding her that they all make mistakes sometimes and that she should try to be more understanding and forgiving.

      In this example, "cutting some slack" is being used as a verb, meaning to show leniency or forgiveness to others. Sarah's manager is telling her to treat her fellow coworkers more kindly and forgivingly so that she can avoid the same harsh treatment she received. This usage emphasizes the importance of treating others well and demonstrates that "cutting some slack" is not just about asking for flexibility; it's also about being a good team player and showing empathy for others.

    • During a team-building exercise, one member consistently failed to meet the expectations of the group. Frustrated, the others joked that it was time to "cut some slack" and let that person drop out of the exercise altogether.

      This example shows how the idiom can be used more loosely, as a humorous way to suggest that someone is not pulling their weight. Here, "cutting some slack" means to stop holding someone to the same standard as the rest of the group. It's a playful way to lighten the mood and acknowledge that not everyone in the group is at the same level of proficiency or commitment.

    • The author of a bestselling novel published her follow-up book to lukewarm reviews, leading many to criticize her sudden "loss of touch" with the literary zeitgeist. To "cut some slack" to the author, some critics have suggested that she may simply be going through a rough patch and that her next book will return her to the spotlight.

      In this example, "cutting some slack" is being used as a noun, meaning the act of being more forgiving or understanding of someone's situation. The critics are urging others to show more leniency towards the author and acknowledge that she may be going through a difficult creative period. This usage emphasizes that "cutting some slack" is not just about asking for flexibility for oneself, but also about being more tolerant and supportive of others who may be struggling.

    • The boss kept pushing my colleague to complete the project within a tight deadline, but he was struggling to meet it. I suggested that we should cut some slack and give him an extra week to finish the project.

      In this example, the phrase "cut some slack" means to give some flexibility or leniency, especially in enforcing rules or deadlines. It is often used in situations where someone is facing undue pressure or difficulty in meeting a deadline or obligation. By cutting some slack, we can alleviate some of the stress and allow the person to complete the task more easily.

    • I understand that the deadline is strict, but I'm afraid we need to cut some slack in this case. The software we're using has some bugs that are causing unexpected errors, and we're having a hard time fixing them. If we don't cut some slack, we'll miss the deadline for sure.

      In this example, the phrase "cut some slack" is used in a more urgent and pressing situation. The speaker acknowledges the strictness of the deadline but argues that there are unforeseen circumstances that require some leniency. The phrase implies that strict adherence to the deadline could result in undesirable consequences, such as missing the deadline, and that some accommodation or flexibility is necessary.

    • My classmate has been feeling unwell for the past few days and hasn't been able to attend class regularly. I'm planning to cut some slack and offer to help him catch up with the missed classes and assignments.

      In this example, the phrase "cut some slack" is used to show compassion and understanding towards a person who is facing difficulties. By cutting some slack, the speaker is offering to help the person in need and showing that they are willing to make adjustments or accommodations to accommodate the person's situation. The phrase implies that strict adherence to the rules or obligations could be detrimental to someone's well-being, and flexibility and compassion are necessary.


    The idiom "cut some slack" is used to give someone a break or reduce expectations or demands on them. It is often used in a casual or informal context to indicate leniency or understanding towards someone's actions or behavior.

    It can be used in various situations, such as in a work environment when asking for more flexibility or understanding from a manager, or in personal relationships to request some leeway or forgiveness for a mistake. Overall, the idiom is used to express the idea of being more forgiving or understanding towards someone.

    Origin of "cut some slack"

    The origin of the idiom "cut some slack" can be traced back to nautical terminology. In sailing, "slack" refers to the loose or relaxed part of a rope or sail. When sailors need to adjust the tension of a rope, they would "cut" or release some of the slack to give more leeway or flexibility.

    Over time, the term "cut some slack" became figurative, used in non-nautical contexts to mean giving someone more room for error or reducing the pressure on them. The idiom has since become a common expression in English, used to convey the idea of being more forgiving or understanding towards someone.