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cut adrift

Separated or detached; freed. For example, The dissenters were cut adrift from the denomination. This expression alludes to cutting the rope of a floating vessel so that it drifts without direction or purpose. The figurative use of adrift dates from the late 1600s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for cut adrift
Historical Examples
  • If I cut adrift in a squall, I stand a pretty fair chance not to see you again.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • The life-boat was launched, and the life-buoy was cut adrift.

    Gathering Jewels

    James Knowles and Matilda Darroch Knowles
  • It was just such a night as the one on which the pretty houseboat had been cut adrift.

    Madge Morton's Secret

    Amy D. V. Chalmers
  • Their last boat, also, had filled while towing astern, and had to be cut adrift.

    The Story of the Rock R.M. Ballantyne
  • How the mischief could you possibly be cut adrift from where you were anchored; and by whom?

    A Middy of the Slave Squadron Harry Collingwood
  • The launch and the French boat were cut adrift, and we had every hope of escape.

    Dick Cheveley W. H. G. Kingston
  • “The mainmast has not been cut adrift; it will be a dangerous task,” said the coxswain.

  • "Keelhaul me if I cut adrift at this stage of the game," answered Ferral.

    Motor Matt's Hard Luck Stanley R. Matthews
  • They didn't stop for their canoes, which we were obliged to cut adrift.

  • If, for your dear sake, I am to cut adrift from the past, I cannot be left alone.

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