cut and thrust

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See also: cut-and-thrust


Alternative forms[edit]


A metaphor referring to swordplay.


  • (file)


cut and thrust (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic) The use of vehement arguments.
    He never got used to the cut and thrust of political debate.
    • 1821–1822, William Hazlitt, “Character of Cobbett”, in Table-Talk; or, Original Essays, volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: John Warren; Henry Colburn and Co.:
      He likes the cut and thrust, the falls, bruises, and dry blows of an argument: as to any good or useful results that may come of the amicable settling of it, any one is welcome to them for him.
    • 2022 February 3, Heather Stewart, quoting Dominic Raab, “Boris Johnson’s policy chief quits over PM’s ‘scurrilous’ Savile remark”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Several cabinet ministers, including Nadine Dorries and Michael Gove, have since defended the remarks, however, with the justice secretary, Dominic Raab, calling it part of the “cut and thrust” of parliamentary debate.
    • For quotations using this term, see Citations:cut and thrust.