View synonyms for cut-and-dried


or cut-and-dry

[ kuht-n-drahyd ]


  1. prepared or settled in advance; not needing much thought or discussion:

    a cut-and-dried decision.

  2. lacking in originality or spontaneity; routine; boring:

    a lecture that was cut-and-dried.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of cut-and-dried1

First recorded in 1700–10
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Idioms and Phrases

Ready-made, predetermined and not changeable. For example, The procedure is not quite cut and dried—there's definitely room for improvisation . This expression originally alluded to herbs for sale in a shop, as opposed to fresh, growing herbs. [c. 1900]
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Example Sentences

The woman felt a certain fainting of purpose at the cut-and-dried programme presented in that dry manner by the dry old man.

Once more she was all for luxury and ease and calmness, for the pleasant, soothing, cut-and-dried thing.

It may be that our feelings will thus be more interesting than a cut-and-dried treatise of the land and its inhabitants.

The councils were no longer the orderly conferences of savants over cut-and-dried maps.

In such matters an ounce of personal experience is worth a pound of cut-and-dried theory.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.