the crux of the matter

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the crux of the matter

The most important, central, or fundamental essence or elements of an issue, problem, or matter at hand. Thank you all for attending this staff meeting. Before we get to the crux of the matter, I'd like to assure each of you that your job is secure. Here's the crux of the matter, Bill. We feel like your performance has really been slipping recently.
See also: crux, matter, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*the crux of the matter

 and *the root of the matter;
See also: crux, matter, of
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

crux of the matter

Also, heart of the matter. The basic, central or critical point of an issue. For example, In this trial the bloodstains represent the crux of the matter, or We think the second clause is the heart of the matter. Although crux is Latin for "cross," in English it means "difficulty" or "puzzle," and it is from the latter that this expression is thought to be derived. The variant employs heart in the sense of "a vital part" (as it is in the body). The first term dates from the late 1800s, the variant from the early 1500s.
See also: crux, matter, of
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.

crux of the matter, the

The essential, pivotal point of an issue. The word “crux” came into English from Latin unchanged except in meaning; in Latin crux means “cross,” specifically the kind used in crucifixions and other executions. The English word “crux,” on the other hand, also signifies a difficulty or puzzle. This meaning, some writers believe, stems from the crossing of the two lines that make up a cross, which is also called a knot or node, whence the transfer to a “knotty problem.” Songwriter John Lennon, of Beatles fame, punned on the cliché in The Fingeltoad Resort: “That seems to be the crutch of the matter.”
See also: crux, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
From that point on, the constitution was able to go to the heart of the matter, to define the political structure of the government, describing each of its major branches and specifying their inter-relationships.
The developments in Cairo and Hama this week are significant because they go to the heart of the matter of who ultimately shapes national policy in Arab states.
To us, it was clear that to express a sense of China's immense geography, the rich diversity of its peoples and their history, and the sheer scale and complexity of the First Emperor's achievements, we needed, physically, to go to the heart of the matter in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, where the soldiers were discovered.
"It doesn't really go to the heart of the matter, which is making sure buildings can ultimately get conventional financing," said Appel.
His words - a sharp contrast to the stance he took while at the Foreign Office between 2005-08 - go to the heart of the matter. We have 9,000 troops in Afghanistan; 229 have died there, including five killed on Tuesday.
While men debate their two-layer items, women go to the heart of the matter, take many more risks and accomplish much more.
These are issues that go to the heart of the matter, for if we are to be convinced that our ancestors, even when using the single word tum'ah, saw the distinctions Hayes asks us to see, we should want to know how they understood the world of which such distinction were a part, and their own place in it.
"Go to the heart of the matter," says Devens, "Ask them to turn their client list over to you," then call whomever you choose to get the real scoop on pricing and service, he advises.
go to the heart of the matter when they identify this critical gap in the research.
"Calming the universities down, stopping grade inflation, making students study, all of that may be salutary, but it does not go to the heart of the matter. There is much less in the university to study now.' Bloom doesn't think we can undo what Nietzsche, Heidegger, and the sixties did to the university.