throw (one) to the wolves

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throw (one) to the wolves

To put one in the position to be the recipient of blame, trouble, or criticism, often that which was intended for oneself. Tommy was caught with the marijuana in his backpack, but he threw me to the wolves and said it was mine. Our manager never hesitates to throw an underling to the wolves when something goes wrong in the office.
See also: throw, to, wolves
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

throw someone to the wolves

Fig. to sacrifice someone to save the rest; to abandon someone to harm. (Fig. on the image of giving one person to the wolves to eat so the rest can get away.) Don't try to throw me to the wolves. I'll tell the truth about the whole affair! The investigation was going to be rigorous and unpleasant, and I could see they were going to throw someone to the wolves.
See also: throw, to, wolves
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

throw to the wolves

Also, throw to the dogs or lions . Send to a terrible fate; sacrifice someone, especially so as to save oneself. For example, Leaving him with hostile reporters was throwing him to the wolves, or If Bob doesn't perform as they expect, they'll throw him to the lions. All three hyperbolic terms allude to the ravenous appetite of these animals, which presumably will devour the victim. The first term comes from Aesop's fable about a nurse who threatens to throw her charge to the wolves if the child does not behave. [First half of 1900s]
See also: throw, to, wolves
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.

throw someone to the wolves

If someone throws you to the wolves, they allow you to be criticized severely or treated badly, and they do not try to protect you. Being released into the general prison population was like being thrown to the wolves. Suddenly, aged 23, he was thrown to the wolves, and made to answer very personal and deeply insulting questions by a pack of journalists. Compare with throw someone to the lions.
See also: someone, throw, to, wolves
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

throw someone to the wolves

leave someone to be roughly treated or criticized without trying to help or defend them. informal
This phrase probably arose in reference to tales about packs of wolves pursuing travellers in horse-drawn sleighs, in which one person was pushed off the sleigh to allow it to go faster, so enabling the others to make their escape.
1958 Listener This able and agreeable doctor was thrown to the wolves by a Prime Minister who had good reason to know that his own position was desperate.
See also: someone, throw, to, wolves
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

throw somebody to the ˈwolves/ˈlions

allow somebody to be attacked or remain in a difficult situation, perhaps because they are no longer useful or important to you: When he became politically unpopular the rest of his party just threw him to the wolves. OPPOSITE: save somebody’s bacon
See also: lion, somebody, throw, to, wolves
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

throw to the wolves, to

To abandon or deliver something or someone to a terrible fate. This term comes from Aesop’s fable about a nurse who threatens to throw her charge to the wolves unless the child behaves better. She never intends to carry out her threat, so the wolf waits in vain for its prey. It is the idea of sacrificing someone that survived in the cliché, as, for example, in Clarissa Cushman’s mystery I Wanted to Murder (1941): “She was his wife. He couldn’t throw her to the wolves.”
See also: throw, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
He said, Brian, we realize that we kind of threw you to the wolves back then because we knew you didn't have any hosting experience.