cut both ways


Have a mixed effect, have advantages and disadvantages. For example, Their solution will cut both ways; it'll take longer but is permanent. This metaphoric expression alludes to a double-edged sword. [c. 1600]

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