cut corners

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cut corners (third-person singular simple present cuts corners, present participle cutting corners, simple past and past participle cut corners)

  1. To bypass a prescribed route so as to gain competitive advantage or to circumvent traffic signals or other rules of the road.
    • 1882, Dan Seffert, quoted in “Half Hours with Dan Seffert”, in Baily's Magazine of Sports and Pastimes, Volume 39, page 275:
      [] but I believe the old man did not ride fair, as he cut corners and joined in with them again []
  2. (idiomatic) To do a less-than-thorough or incomplete job; to do something poorly; to take inappropriate shortcuts.
    The guy who built the fence cut corners when sinking the posts, and the fence fell over in the last storm.