cut, pare, etc. something to the bone

cut to the bone

1. To cut or slice something deeply. A noun can be used between "cut" and "to." Your arm is cut to the bone—you definitely need to go to the emergency room! Mom asked me to cut the meat to the bone.
2. To reduce or decrease something significantly. A noun can be used between "cut" and "to." The arts program at my alma mater has been cut to the bone. Our department needs to cut our spending to the bone this quarter.
See also: bone, cut

pare (something) to the bone

To reduce or decrease something significantly. A noun can be used between "pare" and "to." The arts program at my alma mater has been pared to the bone. Our department needs to pare our spending to the bone this quarter.
See also: bone, pare

cut, pare, etc. something to the ˈbone

reduce something to the point where no further reduction is possible: We have cut the costs of the business to the bone, but they are still too high for us to make any profit.
See also: bone, something