cut something to the bone

cut to the bone

1. To cut or slice something deeply. A noun can be used between "cut" and "to." Your arm is cut to the bone—you definitely need to go to the emergency room! Mom asked me to cut the meat to the bone.
2. To reduce or decrease something significantly. A noun can be used between "cut" and "to." The arts program at my alma mater has been cut to the bone. Our department needs to cut our spending to the bone this quarter.
See also: bone, cut

cut (or pare) something to the bone

reduce something to the bare minimum.
See also: bone, cut, something