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1. noun An act of duplicitous betrayal or swindling, especially of a friend, ally, or colleague. Originally a sporting term in which a "cross" referred to an event that had been fixed by the participants to fail; a "double cross" happened when one participant secretly backed out of that arrangement and went on to win the event. Double crosses happen all the time in politics, with politicians making promises to each other behind closed doors and reneging upon them down the road. Jonathan's double cross ended up costing our company millions of dollars of wasted research and development.
2. verb To betray or cheat someone in a duplicitous manner, especially by going back on a previously agreed upon arrangement. We've been double-crossed, fellas, so keep your eyes open for the cops. John and I spent years developing the product together, but he double-crossed me once it was finished and got a patent for it under his name alone.
A deliberate betrayal; violation of a promise or obligation, as in They had planned a double cross, intending to keep all of the money for themselves. This usage broadens the term's earlier sense in sports gambling, where it alluded to the duplicity of a contestant who breaks his word after illicitly promising to lose. Both usages gave rise to the verb double-cross. [Late 1800s]
1. tv. to betray someone. (Originally a more complicated switching of sides in a conspiracy wherein the double-crosser sides with the victim of the conspiracy—against the original conspirator.) Don’t even think about double crossing me!
2. n. a betrayal. (See comments with sense 1) It’s one double cross Frank is sorry about.