Definition of sell someone down the river in English:

sell someone down the river

phrase

informal
  • Betray someone, especially so as to benefit oneself.

    ‘he said they were management lackeys who had been sold down the river by Bunker’
    • ‘Staff feel they have been sold down the river by the Government.’
    • ‘And they say they feel they have been sold down the river by their union leaders, who last week accepted a pay settlement involving changes in shift patterns and working practices.’
    • ‘He has sold us down the river and made our democracy a joke.’
    • ‘Soldiers and veterans groups could complain that troops are being made into scapegoats, and that the Pentagon and CIA have sold them down the river.’
    • ‘They could stop these plans now but instead they are selling us down the river for a few pence a tonne.’
    • ‘I guess just by sheer odds alone, he was bound to do something right, and the Right Honourable Prime Minister saw the light about doing the right thing and not selling us down the river.’
    • ‘Traders accused the planning committee of ‘selling them down the river’ after controversial plans to redevelop the Market Hall were approved.’
    • ‘Will he remove our freedoms and sell us down the river with a smile?’
    • ‘Yet he behaves and talks constantly as if the world is out to get him, as if he has been sold down the river by some series of massive injustices that have conspired to deny him the fullness of his life.’
    • ‘Our leaders have sold us down the river on numerous occasions.’
    cheat, trick, swindle, defraud, dupe, hoodwink
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