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be taken to the cleaners (by someone)

1. To have a lot or all of one's money taken, swindled, or cheated (by someone). I was taken to the cleaners by the IRS after they found out I hadn't been declaring my freelance work on my tax returns. I made such a big deal about going to the poker tournament that I couldn't bear to tell my husband that I'd been taken to the cleaners.
2. To be soundly defeated or bested; to lose by a wide margin. The young team's inexperience showed on the field today, as they were taken to the cleaners by the veteran squad.
See also: cleaner, taken

get taken to the cleaners (by someone)

1. To have a lot or all of one's money taken, swindled, or cheated from one (by someone). I got taken to the cleaners by the IRS after they found out I hadn't been declaring my freelance work on my tax returns. I don't mind you going to some poker tournament with your friends, just don't get taken to the cleaners or anything.
2. To be soundly defeated or bested; to lose by a wide margin. The young team's inexperience is showing on the field today, as they're getting positively taken to the cleaners by the veteran squad.
See also: cleaner, get, taken

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 someone to the cleaners

INFORMAL
If someone takes you to the cleaners, they make you lose a lot of money in an unfair or dishonest way. The feeling among many experts is that the price he paid was excessive. It sounds like he got taken to the cleaners. Just for a change, the insurers discovered that they had been taken to the cleaners. Note: This developed from the expression `to clean someone out', which has been used since the 19th century. People say that they have been `cleaned out' when they have lost all their money and valuables, for example through being robbed or cheated.
See also: cleaner, someone, take

take someone to the cleaners

1 take all of someone's money or possessions in a dishonest or unfair way. 2 inflict a crushing defeat on someone.
See also: cleaner, someone, 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 someone to the cleaners

1. tv. to take all of someone’s money. The lawyers took the insurance company to the cleaners, but I still didn’t get enough to pay for my losses.
2. tv. to defeat or best someone. Look at the height they’ve got! They’ll take us to the cleaners!
See also: cleaner, someone, take

take to the cleaners

Slang
To take all the money or possessions of, especially by outsmarting or swindling.
See also: cleaner, take

take to the cleaners, to

To dupe or defraud; to wipe out financially. This term may have been derived from the older to be cleaned out, which dates from the early nineteenth century and has precisely the same meaning. The current cliché is American slang dating from the mid-twentieth century, when commercial dry-cleaning establishments became commonplace, but it probably originated, like the older term, among gamblers. H. MacLennan used it in Precipice (1949): “He had taken Carl to the cleaners this time.”
See also: take
References in periodicals archive ?
Over the forecast period, volume sales of vacuum cleaners are expected to increase at a CAGR of 1%.
A BBC documentary revealed that six million Brits employ a cleaner.
Greener Cleaner cares about its customers, its neighborhood, and the planet.
use end caps and social media to effectively promote store brand cleaners.
Mohammed Al-Marzooki, the head of the Street Cleaners Syndicate, stated their demands are legitimate, adding that they also want health insurance and a salary increase.
These chemical-free cleaners clean better than other green cleaning methods because they are powered by plant-based enzymes," said Rosamaria Caballero, co-founder of Green Irene.
Because the name of these cleaners sounds complex, many have questions about the cleaners and how they work.
The monocle bream in the middle could see the cleaner fish, but the cleaners couldn't see the monocle bream.
Other lab evidence suggests that the cleaners are on their best behavior when there's an audience of potential clients, Bshary and Alexandra S.
Spiegel also represented Golden French Cleaners in its lease.
One of the new lint cleaners developed by the ARS is called a dual-saw cleaner because it consists of a standard, saw-type lint cleaner with an added secondary saw retaining longer fibres ejected by the primary saw.
The propellant inside cans of bug spray, spray cleaners and paint can crack the glass.
And often, the spot cleaners or toxic chemicals professional cleaners use are worse than the carpet itself, Spector says.
CR tested five units (including the top-selling Ionic Breeze from The Sharper Image) and confirmed results reported in October 2003 rating most of the air cleaners "poor" at removing dust and tobacco smoke from the indoor environment.