throw to the wolves


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Related to throw to the wolves: wolf down, up to par, wolfed

throw someone to the wolves

Fig. to sacrifice someone to save the rest; to abandon someone to harm. (Fig. on the image of giving one person to the wolves to eat so the rest can get away.) Don't try to throw me to the wolves. I'll tell the truth about the whole affair! The investigation was going to be rigorous and unpleasant, and I could see they were going to throw someone to the wolves.
See also: throw, wolves

throw somebody to the wolves

to put someone in a situation where there is nothing to protect them Are illegal foreign workers going to be thrown to the wolves, or will we try to regulate their employers?
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throw somebody to the wolves

  (British, American & Australian) also leave somebody to the wolves (Australian)
to cause someone to be in a situation where they are criticized strongly or treated badly and to not try to protect them No one warned me what sort of people I would be dealing with. I felt I'd been thrown to the wolves.
See also: throw, wolves

throw to the wolves

Also, throw to the dogs or lions . Send to a terrible fate; sacrifice someone, especially so as to save oneself. For example, Leaving him with hostile reporters was throwing him to the wolves, or If Bob doesn't perform as they expect, they'll throw him to the lions. All three hyperbolic terms allude to the ravenous appetite of these animals, which presumably will devour the victim. The first term comes from Aesop's fable about a nurse who threatens to throw her charge to the wolves if the child does not behave. [First half of 1900s]
See also: throw, wolves