cut someone's throat

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
At a phone box on London's Regent Street, a person has called a helpline to say they are going to cut someone's throat. How thoughtful to give everyone the heads up.
BEST OF THE REST A phone call begins a fresh investigation for the Lyell team SILENT WITNESS BBC1, 9pm AT a phone box on London's Regent Street, someone has called a helpline to say they are going to cut someone's throat. How thoughtful to give everyone the heads up.
Kiir is unquestionably a cold-blooded leader who would cut someone's throat and smile as if he did not do anything.
He swore and made a gesture as if to cut someone's throat, a court at Llandudno was told.
You cut someone's throat when they have done something wrong to you.