throw to the wolves, to

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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, wolves

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, wolves

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