Definition of cut both ways in English:

cut both ways


  • 1(of a point or statement) serve both sides of an argument.

    ‘such a tax is often claimed to encourage saving but the argument can cut both ways’
    • ‘Interestingly, the preferred arguments of both sides can cut both ways.’
    • ‘The argument cuts both ways - but not according to the RIAA?’
    • ‘This cuts both ways: new arguments are never by themselves decisive; but, equally, old presumptions can always be challenged.’
    • ‘The De Kikvorsch case shows that arguments about beer cut both ways.’
    • ‘That message cuts both ways, and both sides could use a lot more outspoken opposition to the brutal actions done by their own.’
    • ‘The rhetoric of there not being a partner for peace on the Palestinian side cuts both ways.’
    • ‘That's not what I'm saying at all because it cut both ways to both sides of the debate.’
    • ‘He complains that the Left only opposes murderous regimes that are backed by the West - but that argument, aside from being untrue, cuts both ways.’
    • ‘The argument that they are a token presence cuts both ways.’
    • ‘But this kind of argument can be made to cut both ways.’
    1. 1.1(of an action or process) have both good and bad effects.
      ‘the triumphs of civilization cut both ways’
      • ‘But as recent American sanctions on imported steel from Brazil and Asia indicate, the process does not cut both ways.’
      • ‘It is important to emphasize that this suggestion that the quality of the political decision-making process may help the Court's judgement cuts both ways.’
      • ‘Ministerial responsibility cuts both ways - a Minister can stand around and take credit and accept kudos for the good things that happen on their watch - ideally as a result of their own decisions and actions.’
      • ‘But, you know, the behavior cuts both ways here.’
      • ‘And he notes that concern about globalization cuts both ways.’
      • ‘The religion of the transfiguring event cuts both ways.’
      • ‘Powerful women are sexy, and this cuts both ways.’
      • ‘It was only 35 years ago that women were tossed out of the workforce when they got married - this sort of discrimination cuts both ways for women.’
      • ‘But realize that openness cuts both ways: if you blog about them, the chances are pretty good they are going to read it.’
      • ‘The fact that he is an unelected official who cannot speak up publicly for himself cuts both ways; it also means that he cannot be voted out, whereas the prime minister can.’