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cut the umbilical cord

To strike out on one's own from an overly involved or suffocating relationship, usually between a parent and child. I love my mom, I truly do, but she used to call me five times a day! I had to cut the umbilical cord! Geez Pete, you're 40 years old! It's time to cut the umbilical cord and stop living with your parents!
See also: cord, cut

cut the (umbilical) cord

to end support of someone or something, esp. financial support He needs to cut the umbilical cord, get away and find his own place in the world. By criticizing his party so strongly, he cut the cord and now has to raise campaign money on his own.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of cut the umbilical cord (to separate a baby that has just been born from the tube that connects it to its mother)
See also: cord, cut

cut the (umbilical) cord

to stop needing someone else to look after you and start acting independently
Usage notes: An umbilical cord is a long narrow tube of flesh which connects a baby to its mother when it is growing inside her.
In order to achieve true independence, smaller nations must cut the cord and stop depending on the United States for financial aid.
See also: cord, cut


n. a basketball net. They cut the cords down after the game.
See also: cord