One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Trim the feathers of (a bird) so as to disable it from flight.
- ‘Many owners have lost beloved pets because they failed to clip the wings of a parrot that never had a tendency to fly before.’
- ‘The owner had forgotten to clip the wings of the bird.’
- ‘His first day, he had to clip the wings of a flock of geese.’
- ‘Further charges under the Summary Offences Act are also expected to be laid for ill-treatment of animals, importing animals without written permission from the chief game warden and clipping the wings of the protected birds.’
- 1.1 Prevent (someone) from acting freely; check the aspirations of.‘he finally clipped the wings of his high-flying chief of staff’
restrict someone's freedom, check, curb, impose limits on, set limits on, keep within bounds, keep under control, obstruct, impede, frustrate, thwart, stand in the way of, fetter, hamstringView synonyms
- ‘But JP Morgan warned that the government would clip the wings of merged companies to stop them steamrollering over their sector.’
- ‘When club rules clip the wings of promising youngsters rather than offering them a launch pad, can we really criticise Britain's up-and-coming athletes for not making the grade?’
- ‘No-hopers Kerry turned the league form on its head at Hollymount on Saturday by clipping the wings of league hopefuls Mayo.’
- ‘Many people see this as clipping the wings of the student movement in British Columbia, or even as a form of dividing and conquering students.’
- ‘Such public scrutiny is in keeping with America's policy of open government and it has also served to clip the wings of committee chairmen.’
- ‘But the move to allow the removal of sensitive data on ‘national security’ grounds, and possibly clip the wings of scientists in future, was made at a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in the US earlier this year.’
- ‘The distinguished and learned French scholar must have been delighted to clip the wings of his long-time British rivals.’
- ‘Scottish Labour MPs at Westminster, keen to clip the wings of the Scottish parliament by cutting the number of MSPs, were warned by their party leadership yesterday to back off in ‘the interests of stability’.’
- ‘The Waterloo Warriors men's basketball team is ready to clip the wings of Canada's best team this weekend.’
- ‘Behind his words is a major reform programme that has clipped the wings of tycoons and corrupt regional governors, as well as simplifying the tax and trade rules.’
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