competition

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cutthroat competition

Opposition that is especially fierce, relentless, or merciless. These school election breed some cutthroat competition. The students here will do just about anything to win, even if it means ruining each other's reputations. I never could handle the cutthroat competition of investment banking, so I decided to pursue something a bit more easygoing.

size up

To observe and form an estimation of or opinion about someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "size" and "up." I strolled around the arena sizing up the competition. Always size up a car in person before you agree to buy it. I sized you up the minute you walked in the room.
See also: size, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

size someone or something up

to observe someone or something to get information; to check someone or something out. The comedian sized the audience up and decided not to use his new material. I like to size up a situation before I act.
See also: size, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cut someone's throat

1. Be the means of someone's ruin, as in Joe would cut her throat if she got in his way. One can also cut one's own throat, that is, spoil one's own chances, as in Alice cut her own throat by her repeated absences. This hyperbolic term alludes to actual murder (or suicide). [c. 1500]
2. cut one another's throats. Engage in destructive competition. For example, With their price war the two stores were cutting each other's throats. This usage gave rise, by 1880, to the idiom cutthroat competition, for vicious competitive practices.
See also: cut, throat

size up

Make an estimate, opinion, or judgment of, as in She sized up her opponent and decided to withdraw from the election. This usage transfers measuring the size of something to broader meaning. [Late 1800s]
See also: size, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

size up

v.
To make an estimate, opinion, or judgment of someone or something: She sized up her opponent. He sized the location up.
See also: size, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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