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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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 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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
See also: both, cut, way
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

cut both ways

To have both favorable and unfavorable results or implications.
See also: both, cut, way
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.
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