cut both ways

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cut both ways

To have good and bad effects at the same time. You may dislike dogs, but what will become of your cat if the homeowners' association employs this new "no pets" policy? It will cut both ways, after all.
See also: both, cut, way

cut both ways

to affect both sides of an issue equally. Remember that your suggestion that costs should be shared cuts both ways. Your division will have to reduce its budget as well. If our side cannot take along supporters to the game, then yours cannot either. The rule has to cut both ways.
See also: both, cut, way

cut both ways

Have a mixed effect, have advantages and disadvantages. For example, Their solution will cut both ways; it'll take longer but is permanent. This metaphoric expression alludes to a double-edged sword. [c. 1600]
See also: both, cut, way

cut both ways

If something cuts both ways, it has two different effects, usually one good and one bad. Celebrity cuts both ways, of course, and the benefits do not always outweigh the disadvantages. Note: You can also say that something cuts two ways, with the same meaning. Evidence of a harsh childhood might cut two ways with a jury. It might create sympathy or it might be seen as proof that the defendant was likely to become a criminal.
See also: both, cut, way

cut both ways

1 (of a point or statement) serve both sides of an argument. 2 (of an action or process) have both good and bad effects.
The image behind this expression is that of a double-edged weapon (see double-edged sword at double-edged).
1 1998 Sanjida O'Connell Angel Bird Words have the power to cut both ways and I was not strong enough to wield them
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cut both/two ˈways

have an effect both for and against somebody/something: Banning imports of cars could cut both ways: other countries may ban the import of cars produced here.
See also: both, cut, two, way

cut both ways

To have both favorable and unfavorable results or implications.
See also: both, cut, way
References in periodicals archive ?
NIAC pointed out that boycotts can cut two ways, noting and condemning Iran's refusal to allow its athletes to compete against Israelis.
"You hear that it can cut two ways, one being that, given the two candidates' stances, people are waiting to apply," Hipsman said.
Whatever happens in Rome, it will cut two ways. One will be success and relief, the other is another defeat and the darkest of dead ends.
Mr Cameron said that in an election race which "can only be cut two ways" - with either him or Mr Miliband entering No 10 - it was right he should focus on his opponent, saying "the personal is national".
Nelson demonstrates that for the Irish, the issue of race proved to be a critical component that cut two ways: It allowed some people to see Ireland's emancipation as part of a universal movement, while it led others in a very different direction.
But sanctions always cut two ways. London is awash with Russian billions, much of it ill-gotten and laundered in the City but ultimately bringing wealth to the UK.
For pet owners, the financial implications of this end-of-life movement cut two ways. In one light, hospice can be seen as reducing the cost of aggressive medical care, or it can be seen as its own version of aggressive comfort care, at least when compared to euthanizing a pet sooner.
You can basically cut two ways: with a spiral bit, using the tool like a router, or with the right-angle attachment and a circular blade, using the tool like a grinder or a circular saw.
<p>Others say that community support, an open-source hallmark, can cut two ways in an enterprise setting.
But if gay rights advocates feel that businesses catering to them should have the right to discriminate on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, they should realize that knives tend to cut two ways. As it stands now, business are not allowed to discriminate against gays.
Loyalty does cut two ways, but these public servants take our votes for granted.
For the silence of the visual can cut two ways. It can stifle or, as John Cage taught us, powerfully disclose sound.
The fault seems to cut two ways. In a July 9, 2004 letter to CMS Administrator Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, Sen.
(I wonder that we haven't offered Pokemon cards for good attendance.) But condescension is not a failing of the old alone: it can cut two ways.
Second, the division between full-time professors and part-timers can cut two ways. Sometimes, as at Miami-Dade, full-timers see their interests as tied to those of adjuncts; in others, however, they see adjuncts as a threat.