double cross

  1. a betrayal or swindle of a colleague.

  2. an attempt to win a contest that one has agreed beforehand to lose.: Compare cross (def. 21).

  1. Genetics. a cross in which both parents are first-generation hybrids from single crosses, thus involving four inbred lines.

Origin of double cross

First recorded in 1825–35

Words Nearby double cross

Other definitions for double-cross (2 of 2)

[ duhb-uhl-kraws, -kros ]

verb (used with object)Informal.
  1. to prove treacherous to; betray or swindle, as by a double cross.

Origin of double-cross

First recorded in 1900–05

Other words from double-cross

  • double-crosser, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use double cross in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for double cross (1 of 2)

double cross

  1. a technique for producing hybrid stock, esp seed for cereal crops, by crossing the hybrids between two different pairs of inbred lines

British Dictionary definitions for double-cross (2 of 2)


  1. (tr) to cheat or betray

  1. the act or an instance of double-crossing; betrayal

Derived forms of double-cross

  • double-crosser, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with double cross

double cross

A deliberate betrayal; violation of a promise or obligation, as in They had planned a double cross, intending to keep all of the money for themselves. This usage broadens the term's earlier sense in sports gambling, where it alluded to the duplicity of a contestant who breaks his word after illicitly promising to lose. Both usages gave rise to the verb double-cross. [Late 1800s]

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