Definition of double-cross in US English:



[with object]
  • Deceive or betray (a person with whom one is supposedly cooperating)

    ‘he was blackmailed into double-crossing his own government’
    • ‘The rest of the movie is in Los Angeles as the criminals plot revenge - and the return of their gold - on the man who double-crossed them.’
    • ‘Fairly simple, it's a noble who promised a necklace to someone but the maker double-crossed him, took his money, and kept the necklace, claiming he sold it to the man and the man had lost it.’
    • ‘In his drive for domination, Moe double-crossed his racketeering wire partners by going into business against them.’
    • ‘It's his lucky day and he decides to celebrate by double-crossing his colleague.’
    • ‘But the latent reason did not become clear until a year later when he double-crossed us and accepted to join Kirsan as one of his useful innocents.’
    • ‘After double-crossing her collaborators, she finds herself desperate to find a passport to get out of France.’
    • ‘Had the Li family been double-crossed by a once faithful employee?’
    • ‘When they think someone is double-crossing them they don't have to apply judge's rules and prove it beyond reasonable doubt.’
    • ‘Do not feel that by doing this you are double-crossing Emily Post.’
    • ‘Having double-crossed his criminal associates in Glasgow, he returns to the Midlands with a bag of stolen cash, determined to win back Shirley and his daughter Marlene.’
    • ‘He's been double-crossed by would-be clients too many times to relax when someone he knows drops by.’
    • ‘The source may, more importantly, be double-crossing the spooks.’
    • ‘Although Tom deplores that other so-called friends have double-crossed Rodney, have in effect set him up, Tom does the same here.’
    • ‘When I am double-crossed and outwitted by another competent player, I am somewhat peeved, probably dismayed at the appearance of my crumbling position on the board, and if anything mad at myself for not outguessing my opponent.’
    • ‘I hope this will change their mind about double-crossing me.’
    • ‘The informant had a plan of double-crossing us from the beginning, and sold us out to some civilian from this area.’
    • ‘I knew all along he was double-crossing us all from the beginning.’
    • ‘‘The movie starts out with the perfect heist and we're double-crossed from within our own crew and spend the rest of the movie trying to recapture our treasure,’ he explained further.’
    • ‘How did I know that she wasn't double-crossing Jacob and me?’
    • ‘The dealer gives his money to the stockbroker only to find out he's been double-crossed.’
    betray, cheat, defraud, trick, hoodwink, mislead, deceive, swindle, break one's promise to, be disloyal to, be unfaithful to, break faith with, play false, fail, let down
    View synonyms


  • A betrayal of someone with whom one is supposedly cooperating.

    • ‘A neat double-cross leaves him with a chip on his shoulder and a need to prove his innocence before he can return to the Core area of explored space.’
    • ‘If that weren't boring enough, there aren't any fun plot twists of interesting double-crosses in any of the ensuing scenes.’
    • ‘From there, it spirals into a prism of double-crosses, dirty politics, and police corruption.’
    • ‘This is a twisted tale of crime, lust, violence and betrayal, hidden identities, double-crosses, and vengeance with an attitude.’
    • ‘The ensuing litany of botched deals, double-crosses and macho showdownery is complicated and, ultimately, exhausting.’
    • ‘On balance, however, I think that the practice of making inconsistent alliances and following them up with first-year double-crosses is unwise.’
    • ‘From there, the film dives into a complex series of double-crosses, allegiance shifts, dramatic revelations and impossible love.’
    • ‘Added to this are all the expected red herrings, betrayals, and double-crosses.’
    • ‘Manipulations, double-crosses, heists and road trips unfold with all the surprise of a connect-the-dots puzzle.’
    • ‘Too often you'll stop caring about what happens in a film because you're drowning in double-crosses, red herrings, and mixed messages, yet don't know much about the main characters at all.’
    • ‘Only this Monday did the vibes from Dublin begin turning gloomy, the day on which I wrote my column in this paper throwing up the dread possibility of a great double-cross.’
    • ‘There follows an entertaining romp round the docklands as Leo attempts a fishy double-cross.’
    • ‘In true gangster fashion, our hero plans a classic double-cross, but ends up underestimating at least one of his foes.’
    • ‘Having set up many clandestine meetings, he gained an insight into covert communication, while his conspiracy theorist tendencies make him a master of the literary double-cross.’
    • ‘Once Jack falls for Nancy, and she pressures him to steal $200,000 of Ray's mob pay-off money, the multiple back-stabbings and succession of double-crosses begin.’
    • ‘With dizzying speed, we are shuttled through a series of double-crosses and triple-crosses, and all is not revealed until the very end.’
    • ‘The scene is now set for a series of double-crosses where the wily Carol emerges as the sharpest operator of them all.’
    • ‘When presented with characters that practice subterfuge for a living, audiences are moved to anticipate the inevitable double-crosses.’
    • ‘The cheapest double-cross really happens to us, the audience, as we slowly glean the truth.’
    • ‘Yet Singson seems most concerned about what he sees as a double-cross by an old friend he had carefully cultivated.’



/ˈˌdəbəl ˈkrɔs/