cut a (wide) swath

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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.
See also: cut, swath

cut a wide swath

 and 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.
See also: cut, swath, wide

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]
See also: cut, swath, wide

cut a wide swath

To make a big display; draw much attention.
See also: cut, swath, wide
References in periodicals archive ?
After all, how many Mardi Gras parades or casting calls are there in the relatively disaster-free expanses cutting a swath through the nation?
According to the state transportation department, cutting a swath through the park is the only viable way to relieve urban congestion and to make way for a future light-rail system.
AIDS is cutting a swath through a population segment that should be in its most productive years; this has deep implications for the nation as a whole and for the workplace in particular.
We are not only seeing consolidation trends, but more importantly, we are beginning to see a burgeoning new software industry being germinated by IBM, SAP, and Microsoft that is cutting a swath through every layer of traditional IT.
Photo: Samantha Morton, as Iris in ``Under the Skin'' - here with Stuart Townsend as Tom - grieves over her mother's death by cutting a swath of self-destruction through her life.
Alley, the head of the post office, said he had seen a tornado coming from about a mile and a half away, skimming along the ground and cutting a swath perhaps half a mile wide.