take (one) to the cleaners

(redirected from taking them to the cleaners)

take (one) to the cleaners

1. To cheat or swindle one for a lot or all of their money. Despite its meaning, the phrase as used often does not refer to actual cheating. It was my first time playing poker at the casino, and the more experienced players definitely took me to the cleaners. The con man made a living taking people to the cleaners with his scams.
2. To soundly defeat or best one; to succeed over one by a wide margin. This young team is taking the veteran squad to the cleaners tonight.
See also: cleaner, take

take someone to the cleaners

 
1. Sl. to take a lot of someone's money; to swindle someone. The lawyers took the insurance company to the cleaners, but I still didn't get enough to pay for my losses. The con artists took the old man to the cleaners.
2. Sl. to defeat or best someone. We took the other team to the cleaners. Look at the height they've got! They'll take us to the cleaners!
See also: cleaner, take

take to the cleaners

1. Take or cheat one out of all of one's money or possessions, as in Her divorce lawyer took him to the cleaners, or That broker has taken a number of clients to the cleaners. [Slang; early 1900s]
2. Drub, beat up, as in He didn't just push you-he took you to the cleaners. [Slang; early 1900s]
See also: cleaner, take

take somebody to the ˈcleaners

(informal)
1 make somebody lose a lot of money, often by cheating them: He’s heavily in debt — his ex-wife took him to the cleaners at the time of their divorce.
2 defeat somebody completely: Our team got taken to the cleaners.
See also: cleaner, somebody, take

take to the cleaners

Slang
To take all the money or possessions of, especially by outsmarting or swindling.
See also: cleaner, take
References in periodicals archive ?
But despite taking them to the cleaners when Saints buried Rangers in the League Cup in September, Tavernier insists O'Halloran will have to earn his place if he signs up.
After all, the main point here is to do with a man who is best known for talking gubbins in a newspaper column and yet is allowed to air his opinions on the national broadcaster, in spite of recently taking them to the cleaners.
The judge was taking them to the cleaners," Mr Hughes said.
And with United taking them to the cleaners for the vast majority of the return leg, Mourinho couldn't complain at imminent elimination.
Since the 1998 season, the smallest losing margin the Scottish side have gone down by on the final weekend is 15 points, with the likes of Montferrand and Llanelli taking them to the cleaners by 34 and 26 points respectively.
You regarded the Manleys as your own private money box and you were quite ruthless in taking them to the cleaners.
MANY punters are scared away from on-line poker because they're worried about con men taking them to the cleaners.