cut a figure
- (idiomatic) To present an image; to make an impression.
1913, Jeffery Farnol, chapter 57, in The Amateur Gentleman:
- Your desire was to cut a figure in the Fashionable World. Well, to-day you have your wish—to-day you are famous.
- 1919, W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, chapter 27:
- Dirk Stroeve cut such an absurd figure that I felt inclined to laugh.
- 1950, The Crisis, page 647
- As a leader of the free world the United States cuts an unconvincing figure with its racial segregation.
- 2010 Sep. 9, Karl Vick, "Israel's Military on the Spot Over Activist's Death," Time:
- Composed and genial, the Corries cut an impressive figure in the sun-drenched Haifa courthouse.
- Often used with an adjective that modifies figure.