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1. To exchange something for something else of equal value. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cash" and "in." I was in desperate need of a vacation, so I cashed in all of my credit card points for a flight to Bermuda. How much money did you make when you cashed your chips in after the poker game?
2. To take advantage of or benefit from an opportune moment or situation. Although the market crash left many people with overpriced mortgages, some savvy homeowners recognized the chance to purchase property at rock-bottom prices and cashed in.
3. To stop participating in a venture or activity. It was no surprise when most of the company's top investors cashed in as soon news of the CEO's scandal went public.
4. To die. We were so lucky to avoid that massive accident—we could have cashed in!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
cash (one's chips) in
1. Lit. to turn in one's gaming tokens or poker chips when one quits playing. When you leave the game, you should cash your chips in. Cash in your chips before you go. I'm going to cash in.
2. Fig. to quit [anything], as if one were cashing in gaming tokens; to leave or go to bed. I guess I'll cash my chips in and go home. Well, it's time to cash in my chips and go home. I'm really tired. I'm going to cash in.
3. and Cash one's checks in Euph. to die; to finish the "game of life." There's a funeral procession. Who cashed his chips in? Poor Fred cashed in his chips last week.
cash something in (for something)
to exchange a security for money; to convert a foreign currency to one's own currency; to turn gaming tokens or poker chips in for money. I cashed the bonds in for a cashier's check. I cashed in my bonds for their face value.
cash something in
to exchange something with cash value for the amount of money it is worth. I should have cashed my insurance policy in years ago. It's time to cash in your U. S. savings bonds.
cash in (on something)
Fig. to earn a lot of money at something; to make a profit at something. This is a good year for drug stocks, and you can cash in on it if you're smart. It's too late to cash in on that particular clothing fad.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Settle an account, close a matter, quit, as in I'm simply going to cash in and leave, or The countries of the former Soviet Union have cashed in. [Late 1800s]
2. Profit handsomely, as in When the stock price went up, we really cashed in. This phrase often is extended to cash in on, meaning to take advantage of. [Early 1900s]
3. Also, cash in one's chips. Die, as in If this new treatment fails, Bob may be cashing in his chips before long. This usage was a transfer from quitting a poker game. [Slang; late 1800s]
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.
1. To exchange something for its equivalent value in currency: After winning a big hand at the blackjack table, I cashed in my chips. As soon as I got to Italy, I cashed my traveler's checks in and went shopping.
2. To withdraw from some venture by or as if by settling one's account: The business was starting to lose money, and I cashed in before the other investors noticed.
3. To exploit some situation in order to profit financially from it: Gas retailers cashed in during the gasoline shortage by raising prices.
4. Slang To die: My uncle finally cashed in after a long illness.
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.