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double cross

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.
1. noun An act of duplicitous betrayal or swindling, especially of a friend, ally, or colleague. Sometimes hyphenated. 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. Usually hyphenated. 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.
See also: cross, double
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

double cross

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]
See also: cross, double
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.

double cross

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.
See also: cross, double
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Two other factors may strengthen the case for using double-cross maize hybrids for dryland production in the western High Plains.
Seven out of 10 of us have either double-crossed pals or partners, or deceived our employers and the taxman.
Opens Friday THE STARS Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez THE VERDICT Fans of Jason Statham's muscular charms will relish this pulp thriller - based on a Donald Westlake book - which sees him in Palm Beach tracking a crime gang that double-crossed him.
He plays a petty criminal who is prepared to take on the might of the mob in a bid to take revenge on the partner who double-crossed him and reclaim the money he is owed.
They then claim they were double-crossed by other mercenaries working for Libyan rebels and, indirectly, for NATO.
This time Mark Wahlberg (right, with Donald Sutherland) plays the leader of a band of thieves who demand revenge when snaky Edward Norton double-crosses them.
He double-crossed the DI and was double-crossed himself, only to - guess what - have the last laugh, sailing off to the horizon with his wife and, presumably, the loot.
He then receives a proposal from a Wall Street investment banker that gives him the chance to go out at the top, until he's double-crossed.
MP Sandra Osbourne said: "This came as a bolt from the blue and can only leave the workforce feeling double-crossed."
A fabulously gifted thief, Doc McCoy (Baldwin) is double-crossed by accomplice Rudy (Michael Madsen, best known as the ear-hacking psycho in Reservoir Dogs) and winds up in a Mexican prison.
A NEUROTIC hit man is double-crossed by his colleagues and his penny-pinching wife in the comedy drama The Big Hit (Columbia Tristar Home Video, pounds 12.99).
A loyalist source claimed the dead man had "double-crossed" the UDA in a major drugs deal and was also suspected of working for the police as an informer.
And she spoke of her heartbreak at being double-crossed by supposed island pal Richard Owen.