cut and run

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cut and run (third-person singular simple present cuts and runs, present participle cutting and running, simple past cut and ran, past participle cut and run)

  1. (nautical) To sail away quickly by cutting the yarns that hold the sails furled.
  2. (by extension) To hurry away; to escape.
  3. (military) To abandon a position as quickly as possible.
    They held on as long as they could, but when the heavy artillery fire started, they had to cut and run.
    President Bush laid out the scenario we face if the United States decides to cut and run.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Some dictionaries give as a definition "to cut the anchor cable and not wait to weigh it".


  • The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, Oxford University Press, 1976.
  • cut and run at OneLook Dictionary Search