cut a (wide) swath(redirected from cutting a swath)
cut a (wide) swath
1. To garner attention. Cindy is such a talented designer that I'm sure her gowns will cut a swath in the fashion world.
2. To cause a lot of damage or suffering in a specific area or population. It seems that the high winds cut a wide swath through our neighborhood last night, blowing down trees and power lines on nearly every street. Severe malnourishment has certainly cut a swath through this part of the globe.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
cut a wide swathand cut a big swath
to seem important; to attract a lot of attention. In social matters, Mrs. Smith cuts a wide swath. Bob cuts a big swath whenever he appears in his military uniform.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
cut a wide swath
Draw a lot of attention, make a considerable display, as in Although he was new to the company, he cut a wide swath. This metaphoric use of making a big sweep of the scythe in cutting grass survives despite the mechanization of farming and the declining use of the noun swath. [Mid-1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
cut a wide swath
To make a big display; draw much attention.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
cut a (wide) swath, to
To make a showy display, to attract attention. The term originated in America and comes from mowing, a “swath” being the amount cut by one big sweep of the scythe. It was transferred to human showoffs by the mid-nineteenth century. “How he was a strutting up the sidewalk—didn’t he cut a swath!” wrote Ann S. Stephens in High Life in New York (1843). It is heard less often today, but has not quite died out.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer