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cut a dash

To have a striking, attractive, and elegant appearance (in one's style of clothes). Primarily heard in UK. Louise really cut a dash in her new dress at her sister's wedding. Some people find it strange to get so dressed up for everyday events, but I believe one should always try to cut a dash whenever possible.
See also: cut, dash

dash off (somewhere)

To quickly and suddenly leave (to some place). I'm just going to dash off to the pub for a quick pint. She dashed off as soon as the exam was finished.
See also: dash, off

cut a fine figure

to look good; to look elegant. (Usually said of a male.) Tom really cuts a fine figure on the dance floor. Bill cuts a fine figure since he bought some new clothes.
See also: cut, figure, fine

dash a note off

 and dash a letter off
to write a note or letter quickly and send it off. I have to dash this letter off, then I will be with you. I'll dash off a note to her.
See also: dash, note, off

dash across something

to run quickly across some area. John dashed across the busy street and ran in the door. The dog dashed across the yard and confronted the meter reader.
See also: across, dash

dash away

 and dash off
to run away; to leave in a hurry. I must dash away. See you tomorrow. Juan had to dash away to an appointment. Ken dashed off and left me behind to deal with the angry customer.
See also: away, dash

dash out (for something)

[for someone] to leave a place in a hurry to get something. Harry dashed out for some cigarettes. Excuse me. I just have to dash out.
See also: dash, out

dash over (for something)

[for someone] to come by quickly for something such as a brief visit. I just dashed over for a cup of sugar. Can you spare it? I needed some sugar, so I just dashed over.
See also: dash

dash someone or something against someone or something

to throw or fling someone or something at or against someone or something. Sam dashed the bottle against the floor, shattering it. Alice dashed the box against Ed, throwing him off balance.
See also: dash

dash someone's hopes

Fig. to ruin someone's hopes; to put an end to someone's dreams or aspirations. Mary dashed my hopes when she said she wouldn't marry me.
See also: dash, hope

dash something off

to make or do something quickly. I will dash this off now and try to take more time with the rest of them. I will see if I can dash off a cherry pie before dinner.
See also: dash, off

dash something to pieces

to break something into small pieces. She dashed the glass to pieces on the floor—she was so mad. The potter dashed the imperfect pot to pieces.
See also: dash, piece

make a dash for someone or something

to run quickly for someone or something. Suddenly Max made a dash for Lefty and punched him in the stomach. John made a dash for the bathroom as soon as they arrived home.
See also: dash, make

pour cold water on something

1. Lit. to douse something with cold water. Pour cold water on the vegetables to freshen them. I poured cold water on my head to cool myself off.
2. and dash cold water on something; throw cold water on something Fig. to discourage doing something; to reduce enthusiasm for something. (Alludes to cooling passion with cold water.) When my father said I couldn't have the car, he poured cold water on my plans. John threw cold water on the whole project by refusing to participate.
See also: cold, on, pour, water

pour/throw cold water on something

if you pour cold water on opinions or ideas, you criticize them and stop people believing them or being excited about them Margaret Thatcher poured cold water on the idea of a European central bank.
See also: cold, on, pour, water

cut a fine figure

  (British, American & Australian old-fashioned) also cut a dash (British old-fashioned)
if someone cuts a fine figure, people admire their appearance, usually because they are wearing attractive clothes Giles cut a fine figure in his black velvet suit. Lucy cut a dash in her purple satin ballgown.
See also: cut, figure, fine

dash off

1. Write or sketch hastily, as in I'm just going to dash off a letter. [Early 1700s]
2. Hurry away, depart hastily, as in He dashed off as though he was being chased. This usage employs the verb dash in the sense of "impetuously run" or "rush," a usage dating from about 1300.
See also: dash, off

dash someone's hopes

Destroy someone's plans, disappoint or disillusion. For example, That fall dashed her hopes of a gold medal. This term uses dash in the sense of "destroy," a usage surviving only in this idiom. [Second half of 1500s]
See also: dash, hope

pour cold water on

Also, throw cold water on. Discourage or deter, as in Cutting my year-end bonus poured cold water on my loyalty to the company, or Hearing about the outbreak of cholera threw cold water on our plans to visit Bolivia. This term, with its image of putting out a fire with water, at one time meant "defame" or "slander"; the modern meaning dates from about 1800.
See also: cold, on, pour, water

dash off

1. To depart in a hurry: When the bell rang, he excused himself from the lunch table and dashed off to class.
2. To write or draw something hurriedly: She dashed off a note that explained where she was going. He dashed a memo off to the staff explaining the new dress code.
See also: dash, off


mod. fast and careless. I wish you hadn’t done it in such a slap-dash fashion.
References in classic literature ?
Powell we know taking solitary week-end cruises in the estuary of the Thames (with mysterious dashes into lonely creeks) but to the young Mr.
And just as he is swallowing his last mouthful, winding his comforter round his throat, and tucking the ends into the breast of his coat, the horn sounds; boots looks in and says, "Tally-ho, sir;" and they hear the ring and the rattle of the four fast trotters and the town-made drag, as it dashes up to the Peacock.
Then, One day, like one of the prisms that you love so well, little girl, you danced into my life, and flecked my dreary old world with dashes of the purple and gold and scarlet of your own bright cheeriness.
The cat at first dashes all round the cage, making frantic efforts to force a way out.
He never wrote to me without asking for money in his life, and all his letters are full of bad spelling, and dashes, and bad grammar.
Then, he dashes it down under the grate, with such force that the broken splinters fly out again in a shower; and he leaves the house.
Other groups, bested, fled among the trees to carry on guerrilla warfare, emerging in sudden dashes to overwhelm isolated enemies.
Jean-Pierre staggered back, and after three successive dashes got into his cart.
On it whirls headlong, dives through the woods again, emerges in the light, clatters over frail arches, rumbles upon the heavy ground, shoots beneath a wooden bridge which intercepts the light for a second like a wink, suddenly awakens all the slumbering echoes in the main street of a large town, and dashes on haphazard, pell-mell, neck-or-nothing, down the middle of the road.