cut off your nose to spite your face

cut off your nose to spite your face

or

cut your nose off to spite your face

If someone cuts off their nose to spite their face, or cuts their nose off to spite their face, they do something to punish someone but in doing so harm themselves more than they harm the person they are punishing. The manager would probably like to leave Keane out of the squad but he knows that he'd be cutting his nose off to spite his face in losing a genuinely world-class player. Note: In this expression, `to spite' means to deliberately annoy or upset.
See also: cut, face, nose, off, spite

cut off your nose to spite your face

disadvantage yourself in the course of trying to disadvantage another.
This idea was proverbial for self-defeating malice in both medieval Latin and medieval French, and has been found in English since the mid 16th century.
See also: cut, face, nose, off, spite

cut off your ˈnose to spite your ˈface

(informal) do something, for example because you are angry or proud, that is intended to hurt somebody else but in fact harms you: Keeping your class in after school as a punishment is cutting off your nose to spite your face, because you have to stay with them!This may come from the story of a Viking attack on a monastery. The nuns in the monastery cut off their own noses so that they would not be attractive to their attackers.
See also: cut, face, nose, off, spite