Definition of cut someone to the quick in US English:

cut someone to the quick


  • Cause someone deep distress by a hurtful remark or action.

    • ‘His words cut her to the quick, but this time she knew exactly why.’
    • ‘Gleason's flamboyancy would have cut Buk to the quick.’
    • ‘Many of Billington's criticisms have clearly cut Nunn to the quick.’
    • ‘If there was one thing Joe Cartwright couldn't take it was being ignored, and if the townspeople had set out to cut him to the quick then they had certainly done a good job of it.’
    • ‘I was about to open my mouth to say something but he cut me to the quick.’
    • ‘The mocking tone was slight, but it cut Maple to the quick.’
    • ‘She brushes past him, her heart pounding with the effort it took to keep from blurting out something about Daphne that would really cut him to the quick.’
    • ‘But when she opened The Independent the other day, she was cut to the quick.’
    • ‘Hearing the answer either way would likely cut him to the quick.’
    • ‘‘I understand,’ Jack tried, but this girl cut him to the quick.’
    hurt, hurt the feelings of, scar, damage, harm, injure, insult, slight, offend, give offence to, affront, distress, disturb, upset, make miserable, trouble, discomfort
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