To hurt someone in a grave manner; to act cold or unkind


  • This expression is an old one. It was used by people to describe extreme pain. The pain felt under the nails of hands and feet is one of the sharpest. If the nails come out the skin is exposed and any harm can lead towards great pain. The feeling of this kind of pain was extreme. Now, this pain is explained in this expression. It refers to emotional pain instead of physical pain now and it is used in different contexts.

The lab experiment team was cut to the quick, when the invigilator told them that their method, application and results were totally wrong.

Submitted on February 25, 2019

Additional definitions for 'Cut to the Quick':

cut to the quickUsed other than as an idiom: see cut, quick.
cut to the quickTo hurt a person deeply, especially emotionally.
cut to the quickTo get to the most essential idea or point.
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