burn one's bridges

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Originally in military sense of intentionally cutting off one's own retreat (burning a bridge one has crossed) to commit oneself to a course of action, later used primarily to mean “alienate former friends”.

Verb[edit]

burn one's bridges

  1. (idiomatic) To destroy one's path, connections, reputation, opportunities, etc., particularly intentionally.
    Even if you are dismissed from a job in the worst way, take care to not burn your bridges with unseemly comments on the way out, since you never know who you will meet again.

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