cut corners, to

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cut corners

To skip certain steps in order to do something as easily or cheaply as possible, usually to the detriment of the finished product or end result. Don't cut corners on this project—it has to be done thoroughly, no matter the cost. If you cut corners and don't apply a top coat, then your nails probably are going to chip faster.
See also: corner, cut
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cut corners

Fig. to take shortcuts; to save money or effort by finding cheaper or easier ways to do something. They're always finding ways to cut corners. I won't cut corners just to save money. I put quality first.
See also: corner, cut
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cut corners

Do something in the easiest or least expensive way; also, act illegally. For example, Cutting corners in production led to a definite loss in product quality, or If the accountant cuts corners the auditors are sure to find out. This term alludes to rounding a corner as closely as possible in order to shorten the distance traversed and/or save time. [Late 1800s]
See also: corner, cut
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.

cut corners

COMMON If you cut corners, you save time, money, or effort by not following the correct procedure or rules for doing something. Don't try to cut corners as you'll only be making work for yourself later on. He accused the Home Office of trying to save money by cutting corners on security. Note: You can call this activity corner cutting. It's precisely this sort of corner cutting that causes the problems. Corner-cutting contractors build tiny classrooms and narrow corridors.
See also: corner, cut
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

cut corners

undertake something in what appears to be the easiest, quickest, or cheapest way, often by omitting to do something important or ignoring rules.
This phrase comes from cutting (off) the corner , which means ‘taking the shortest course by going across and not round a corner’.
See also: corner, cut
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

cut ˈcorners

(disapproving) do things in the easiest, quickest or cheapest way and not in the proper way: Don’t be tempted to cut corners when doing a home decorating job.
See also: corner, cut
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

cut corners

tv. to do something more easily; to take shortcuts; to save money by finding cheaper ways to do something. (As if one were speeding somewhere and took the shortest way possible through intersections, i.e., by making left turns that cut across oncoming traffic lanes.) I won’t cut corners just to save money. I put quality first.
See also: corner, cut
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

cut corners

To do something in the easiest or most inexpensive way.
See also: corner, cut
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cut corners, to

To do a hasty, slipshod job; also, to act illegally. The term comes from using a direct route that omits corners or from moving very fast and rounding turns very closely. It dates from about the middle of the nineteenth century. Mark Twain used it in Innocents Abroad (1869): “He cuts a corner so closely now and then . . . that I feel myself ‘scooching.’”
See also: cut
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Attempts to cut corners by President Duterte allies could -- as the case of former House Speaker Panteleon Alvarez -- not only not succeed but could lead to one's downfall.
"In order to steal a march on bloggers and tweeters, they might be tempted to cut corners, to break or at least bend the law to obtain information for stories or to infringe privacy improperly to the same end," he said.
Many times, when a manager starts to cut corners, good management techniques go out the door.
Robert Higgs, HVCA's chief executive, said: "We recognise that buy-to-let landlords up and down the country are under increasing financial pressure, and some will be tempted to cut corners by ignoring the requirement to arrange for reputable, registered installers to carry out annual safety checks and servicing.
In establishments where workers who were subject to many labor law violations (including payment below minimum wage, failure to pay for overtime, and discriminatory hiring practices), the following unsafe practices were much more prevalent: pressure to cut corners, lack of health and safety training, improper food handling, chronic understaffing, forcing workers to report to work when sick, and a number of stomach-churning situations like workers "sneezing, coughing, or spitting on food."
This will mean that staff will have to cut corners at the expense of customer services.
Smaller firms don't have the resources, so they have to cut corners."
Sometimes, it's a lot better to cut corners than get crazy.
In 2003, 42% of business decision makers thought CPAs were "willing to cut corners for clients"--it dropped to 29% in this latest research.
Many times, citizens find themselves in a financial quandary and have to cut corners on the debts that they will repay.
The Health and Safety Executive said for many, the temptation to replace missing roof tiles, or chop down blown over trees might mean getting people to cut corners.
This isn't an exercise in objectivity: While the authors do believe that at many companies, "option-induced avarice spurred corporate chieftains to cut corners, cook the books and dupe investors into buying shares at inflated prices," they also contend that "most corporations in America would enjoy more motivated workers and larger profits if they embraced partnership capitalism centered around employee stock options."
He reminisces uneasily about the pressures he felt as a young stockbroker to cut corners at the expense of his clients, and in surprisingly frank terms--given his vaunted career on Wall Street--he warns investors that, for the most part, they'd be better off firing their brokers.
But what the current Wall Street scandals so obviously show is that it is the essence of the free market to cut corners, not only on ledgers, but also on environmental regulations, workplace hazards, product safety, and wages and hours.
To cut corners last year, Michael Butler--a grower from Osceola, Ark.--canceled his subscription to DTN's satellite information service.