Definition of serve two masters in English:

serve two masters


  • Take orders from two superiors or follow two conflicting or opposing principles or policies at the same time.

    ‘it is never easy to serve two masters’
    • ‘But that's exactly what's happening because of a gargantuan conflict of interest: The giant mutual funds are serving two masters.’
    • ‘This arrogant contempt for our local town and parish councils by Bradford shows that you cannot serve two masters.’
    • ‘She added that psychiatrists can end up serving two masters when they get into the position of being an administrator rather than a clinician, and a choice has to be made.’
    • ‘That means he must serve two masters - company shareholders and fund investors - whose interests may not always be in sync.’
    • ‘A man cannot serve two masters - eventually, you will be forced to choose.’
    • ‘You have to serve two masters: the president of the United States, and you also try to help the Washington press corps do its job.’
    • ‘Instead, they create this shared management - and no man can serve two masters happily - across all of New Zealand potentially.’
    • ‘If other parties do not want to be stained by the suggestion that they serve two masters, I suggest that they should move amendments to exempt themselves.’
    • ‘And it was not working, this attempt to serve two masters.’
    • ‘It is law layered with politics, which, as a lawyer, I can tell you is the worst kind of fact situation you can find, because you end up serving two masters and it's almost an impossible situation.’