Cut corners

Definition

The idiom ‘cut corners’ is used to describe a situation in which someone takes shortcuts in order to save time or money, often at the expense of quality.

Examples

The contractor tried to cut corners by using cheap materials, so the job wasn’t done very well.

The company was accused of cutting corners in the safety department.

Origin

The origin of the phrase is uncertain, but it has been in use since at least the late 1800s.

FAQs

Question

What does it mean to ‘cut corners’?

Answer

To ‘cut corners’ is to take shortcuts in order to save time or money, often at the expense of quality.

Question

Where does the phrase ‘cut corners’ come from?

Answer

The origin of the phrase is uncertain, but it has been in use since at least the late 1800s.