cut (someone's) throat

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cut (someone's) throat

To bring about or be the cause of someone's ruin, downfall, or failure. That discount supermarket is cutting our throats, there's no way we can compete with their prices! Jim set out to cut his brother's throat after finding out that he'd been swindled.
See also: cut, throat
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cut one's (own) throat

Fig. [for someone] to bring about one's (own) failure. If I were to run for office, I'd just be cutting my throat. Judges who take bribes are cutting their own throats.
See also: cut, throat
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
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.
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References in classic literature ?
For he assured me, that if the secret should be discovered by my countrymen the Dutch, they would cut my throat in the voyage." I returned my thanks, by the interpreter, for so unusual a favour; and some troops being at that time on their march to Nangasac, the commanding officer had orders to convey me safe thither, with particular instructions about the business of the crucifix.
"I don't know what minute my crew will cut my throat, and take over the ship," he added.
"It was a big kitchen knife and he threatened to cut my throat if I didn't pay Dh2,000.
His partner of 18 years Caroline Hawcroft, 35, said: "When the police turned up he got a piece of glass and said, 'If you come any closer I'm going to cut my throat'."
They dragged me outside the flat and no one in the flat could help because they threatened to kill them if they interfered," the victim said in official records, "They took me outside the flat and surrounded me and then two of them tied me up from behind and one of them cut my throat and then they escaped."
"One of the calls threatened to cut my throat and in another I was told I would have to sleep with one eye open.
Mr Balmer said: "He cut my throat open and only gets two years.
"He cut my throat, he cut my throat," the woman screamed.
"Banaras then cut my throat. I was in shock, I felt the pain and the blood.
He went on: "They said they were going to cut my throat if I didn't plead guilty.
The mum-of-three said yesterday: "It could have cut my throat. There will be a permanent scar."
"They wanted to cut my throat with a knife," said the girl, named only as Taos.