cut (one's) nose off to spite (one's) face(redirected from cut their noses off to spite their faces)
cut (one's) nose off to spite (one's) face
To seek retribution against someone else in a manner that is ultimately harmful or disadvantageous to oneself. He fired Tom for criticizing his managerial skills, but Tom accounts for nearly 75% of his branch's quarterly sales, so all he's really done is cut his nose off to spite his face. I know you're mad at your parents, but running away is only going to make your own life harder. Don't cut your nose off to spite your face.
cut one's nose off to spite one's face
Prov. to hurt yourself in an attempt to hurt someone else. (Often in the form, "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.") Isaac dropped out of school because he wanted to make his father angry; years later, he realized that he had cut off his nose to spite his face.
cut off your nose to spite your faceor
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.
cut off your nose to spite your facedisadvantage 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.
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.
cut off (one's) nose to spite (one's) face
To injure oneself in taking revenge against another.