have (one's) cake and eat it (too)

have (one's) cake and eat it (too)

To have or do two things that one desires which are normally contradictory or impossible to have or do simultaneously. Because "have" can also mean "eat," this expression may seem redundant. However, it is based on the meaning of "have" as "to possess," i.e., to maintain possession of one's cake while still eating it, an obvious oxymoron. You're never going to save enough money to buy a house if you keep buying expensive televisions and cars. You can't have your cake and eat it, too. Too many people want to have their cake and eat it, demanding all sorts of social benefits from the government but unwilling to pay any taxes to fund them.
See also: and, cake, eat, have

have one's cake and eat it too

 and eat one's cake and have it too
Cliché to have in one's possession something and be able to use or exploit it; to have it both ways. (Usually stated in the negative.) Tom wants to have his cake and eat it too. It can't be done. Don't buy a car if you want to walk and stay healthy. You can't eat your cake and have it too.
See also: and, cake, eat, have

have your cake and eat it

COMMON If someone wants to have their cake and eat it, they are trying to benefit from two different situations, when they can only benefit from one of them. He wants to switch to a market economy in a way which does not reduce people's standard of living. But he can't have his cake and eat it. You can't be married to one woman and have a close relationship with another woman at the same time. That's having your cake and eating it. Note: Although `have your cake and eat it' is now the most common form of the expression, the original was `eat your cake and have it'. Some people consider the recent version illogical, since it is certainly possible to have a cake and then eat it but not the other way round.
See also: and, cake, eat, have

have your cake and ˈeat it

(British English) (also have your cake and eat it too American English, British English ) (informal) (often used with can’t) enjoy the advantages of two things that cannot exist together: ‘I’ll have no money at all left after this holiday.’ ‘But you’re having a great time, aren’t you? You can’t have your cake and eat it!’
See also: and, cake, eat, have
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