cut to the bone

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Related to cut to the bone: bone to pick

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 something to the bone

1. Lit. to slice deep to a bone. The knife cut John to the bone. He had to be sewed up. Cut each slice of ham to the bone. Then each slice will be as big as possible.
2. Fig. to cut down severely (on something). (To the bone emphasizes the severity of the cutting.) We cut our expenses to the bone and are still losing money. Congress had to cut expenditures to the bone in order to balance the budget.
See also: bone, cut

cut to the bone

Severely reduced, as in During the Depression Grandmother's housekeeping money was cut to the bone. The phrase to the bone, literally meaning "through the flesh to the inmost part or core," dates from about 1400. This expression in effect means that everything extraneous has been cut away so that only bone remains.
See also: bone, cut

cut to the bone

COMMON If resources or costs are cut to the bone, they are reduced as much as they possibly can be. We managed to break even by cutting costs to the bone. Note: Verbs such as pare, shave, and strip are sometimes used instead of cut. The universities feel they have already been pared to the bone by government cuts. Eric had taken on the competition by shaving his running costs to the bone and offering the lowest prices possible.
See also: bone, cut

cut (or pare) something to the bone

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

cut, pare, etc. something to the ˈbone

reduce something to the point where no further reduction is possible: We have cut the costs of the business to the bone, but they are still too high for us to make any profit.
See also: bone, something
References in periodicals archive ?
Our public services are already cut to the bone because the Tory party are too corrupt to tax their paymasters at even the legal rates of corporation tax , and are loth to tax super rich individuals at all, so how will the fall in revenue be met?
Like every other school in the county we are looking at where we can make savings, but we have cut to the bone in previous years," he said.
Being as we have been told of council tax increase being possible, and job losses in the council, facilities like road sweeping, litter picking and gully emptying will be cut to the bone.
He has abused his position by forcing through the purchase of an airport without any obvious consideration to the taxpayers of Wales, the health service is being cut to the bone, people are dying in ambulances waiting to be seen at hospitals, the education system is in tatters.
Public sector budgets continue to be cut to the bone and countless workers, if not fighting to hang onto their jobs, are experiencing pay freezes which are effectively year-on-year pay cuts.
Benefits to the old, poor, sick, disabled and unemployed have been cut to the bone.
In Birmingham there are going to be whole areas and communities that literally fall out of society as key services are cut to the bone.
They are dependent on discounting and many retailers' margins are being cut to the bone," he said.
London, Mar 8(ANI): Manchester United winger Nani has been ruled out for at least three games after being cut to the bone by Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.
For something a little more exotic, even spicy, adventurous family cooks who are entertaining a large group of friends and relatives, could try Jonathan's whole lambs, cross cut to the bone and ready for marinating and cooking Eastern style.
SUPPORT for people who are disabled, chronically ill and housebound, are being cut to the bone by Kirklees social services, it was said today.