cut both ways

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cut both ways

To have good and bad effects at the same time. You may dislike dogs, but what will become of your cat if the homeowners' association employs this new "no pets" policy? It will cut both ways, after all.
See also: both, cut, way

cut both ways

to affect both sides of an issue equally. Remember that your suggestion that costs should be shared cuts both ways. Your division will have to reduce its budget as well. If our side cannot take along supporters to the game, then yours cannot either. The rule has to cut both ways.
See also: both, cut, way

cut both ways

Have a mixed effect, have advantages and disadvantages. For example, Their solution will cut both ways; it'll take longer but is permanent. This metaphoric expression alludes to a double-edged sword. [c. 1600]
See also: both, cut, way

cut both ways

If something cuts both ways, it has two different effects, usually one good and one bad. Celebrity cuts both ways, of course, and the benefits do not always outweigh the disadvantages. Note: You can also say that something cuts two ways, with the same meaning. Evidence of a harsh childhood might cut two ways with a jury. It might create sympathy or it might be seen as proof that the defendant was likely to become a criminal.
See also: both, cut, way

cut both ways

1 (of a point or statement) serve both sides of an argument. 2 (of an action or process) have both good and bad effects.
The image behind this expression is that of a double-edged weapon (see double-edged sword at double-edged).
1 1998 Sanjida O'Connell Angel Bird Words have the power to cut both ways and I was not strong enough to wield them
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cut both/two ˈways

have an effect both for and against somebody/something: Banning imports of cars could cut both ways: other countries may ban the import of cars produced here.
See also: both, cut, two, way

cut both ways

To have both favorable and unfavorable results or implications.
See also: both, cut, way
References in periodicals archive ?
Different indeed is the kind of audience called into being in their presence, but perhaps unfortunately, difference cuts both ways.
CUTS BOTH WAYS Handicaps are clearly going to provide Paul Cole's colt with easier pickings after his encouraging run at Leicester on Monday.
In 1990, Gloria released her bestselling solo album, Cuts Both Ways.
The rule cuts both ways because UK cattle would also lose their farm assurance if they were killed in other countries, and acquired so-called nomad status, but in current circumstances it is the British finisher that is being protected," said NBA director Kim Haywood.
But that cuts both ways and brings with it some responsibilities.
The BNP claims the leaflet, entitled "Racism Cuts Both Ways - The Scandal of Our Age", only highlights the issue of racism against white people.
The booklet Racism Cuts Both Ways has been dropping through letterboxes this month and has gone to MPs, councillors, colleges and church groups.
However this cuts both ways and while Birmingham City Council has supported the Black Country's efforts to contribute to the success of our region, the same cannot be said for some of Birmingham's business community nor of the Birmingham media.
A breezy comedy about borderline psychosis, the film's title cuts both ways.
It's a lonely life when you're not getting any love and this cuts both ways.
Yet it cuts both ways - with chief police officers apparently now unable to stand up to the Home Office either.