take (one) to the cleaners

(redirected from taken them to the cleaners)

take (one) to the cleaners

1. To cheat or swindle one for a lot or all of their money. Despite its meaning, the phrase as used often does not refer to actual cheating. It was my first time playing poker at the casino, and the more experienced players definitely took me to the cleaners. The con man made a living taking people to the cleaners with his scams.
2. To soundly defeat or best one; to succeed over one by a wide margin. This young team is taking the veteran squad to the cleaners tonight.
See also: cleaner, take

take someone to the cleaners

 
1. Sl. to take a lot of someone's money; to swindle someone. The lawyers took the insurance company to the cleaners, but I still didn't get enough to pay for my losses. The con artists took the old man to the cleaners.
2. Sl. to defeat or best someone. We took the other team to the cleaners. Look at the height they've got! They'll take us to the cleaners!
See also: cleaner, take

take to the cleaners

1. Take or cheat one out of all of one's money or possessions, as in Her divorce lawyer took him to the cleaners, or That broker has taken a number of clients to the cleaners. [Slang; early 1900s]
2. Drub, beat up, as in He didn't just push you-he took you to the cleaners. [Slang; early 1900s]
See also: cleaner, take

take somebody to the ˈcleaners

(informal)
1 make somebody lose a lot of money, often by cheating them: He’s heavily in debt — his ex-wife took him to the cleaners at the time of their divorce.
2 defeat somebody completely: Our team got taken to the cleaners.
See also: cleaner, somebody, take

take to the cleaners

Slang
To take all the money or possessions of, especially by outsmarting or swindling.
See also: cleaner, take
References in periodicals archive ?
Nearly all the original money is gone but the plan to run the tram from Leith to the airport will never be completed due to poor management and a main contractor who has taken them to the cleaners.
A HEAVYWEIGHT late gamble that forced Comply Or Die from 10-1 to 7-1 jointfavourite led to Ladbrokes claiming last night that punters had taken them to the cleaners, and Coral suggesting they faced one of the biggest payouts in Grand National history, writes Rodney Masters.
London have shown all season that they can win away at the top sides - only Bradford have taken them to the cleaners and they are a dangerous team.
Had we not stayed on to allow Ailsa Troon to negotiate handing back the contract to BAe, Cathelco would have been in breach of contract and BAe could have taken them to the cleaners.
The bookies had a rough day, but they were determined to take no chances with Sixtino, who had taken them to the cleaners at Thurles just before Christmas.
Skovdahl knows he faces an uphill struggle today to convince his team they can cope against a side that's taken them to the cleaners three times so far this term.