Cutting Corners is an idiomatic expression that refers to taking shortcuts or finding easier, quicker, or cheaper ways to accomplish a task or goal, often at the expense of quality, safety, or thoroughness.

Idiomatic Phrase: “Cutting Corners” is an idiomatic expression used to describe the act of taking shortcuts or finding expedient but potentially inferior methods to achieve a desired outcome.

Shortcut or Expedient Approach: The phrase suggests that instead of following established procedures or standards, individuals opt for quicker or cheaper methods to complete a task or reach a goal. This may involve omitting certain steps, using substandard materials, or bypassing necessary precautions.

Compromising Quality or Integrity: Cutting corners often results in a reduction in quality, reliability, or safety of the final product or outcome. By sacrificing thoroughness or attention to detail, individuals may produce work that is incomplete, flawed, or prone to failure.

Risk of Negative Consequences: While cutting corners may offer short-term benefits such as time or cost savings, it can lead to long-term repercussions. Projects completed hastily or with inadequate resources may result in errors, accidents, or legal liabilities, ultimately costing more time and resources to rectify.

Ethical Considerations: The practice of cutting corners raises ethical concerns as it involves prioritizing expediency or cost savings over integrity, honesty, and professionalism. It may also undermine trust and confidence in the individual or organization’s reputation and credibility.

Cutting Corners is an idiom that describes the practice of taking shortcuts or finding expedient but potentially inferior methods to achieve a desired outcome. While it may offer short-term benefits, cutting corners often compromises quality, safety, and integrity, leading to negative consequences and ethical concerns.

CUTTING CORNERS in a sentence

  • The phrase cutting corners refers to the act of taking shortcuts or reducing efforts to save time, effort, or resources, often resulting in lower quality or compromised outcomes.
  • Some companies may resort to cutting corners in production to meet deadlines, risking product quality and safety.
  • In construction, cutting corners on materials or workmanship can lead to structural defects or safety hazards.
  • Students who resort to cutting corners by plagiarizing or cheating risk academic integrity and learning opportunities.
  • Effective project management requires thorough planning and execution, without cutting corners that may compromise project goals.
  • Ethical business practices prioritize quality and integrity over cutting corners to maximize profits.
  • Parents teach their children the importance of honesty and hard work, discouraging them from cutting corners to achieve success.
  • Professional ethics in fields like medicine and law prohibit cutting corners that could jeopardize patient or client well-being.


The phrase cutting corners originated from the literal act of taking shortcuts or not following the proper procedures, especially in manufacturing or construction contexts.

In the early 20th century, cutting corners referred specifically to rounding off corners in manufacturing processes to save time and materials. However, it quickly evolved into a metaphorical expression that encompasses any situation where someone seeks to achieve an outcome more quickly or cheaply by bypassing established rules, standards, or best practices.

The phrase gained broader usage in the mid-20th century and has since become a common idiom in English-speaking cultures. It is often used to describe instances where someone tries to achieve a goal or complete a task by taking the easiest or quickest route, even if it means sacrificing quality, safety, or integrity. As such, cutting corners typically carries a negative connotation, suggesting a lack of thoroughness, honesty, or commitment to doing things properly.


  • Take shortcuts
  • Skimp
  • Scrimp
  • Sidestep
  • Circumvent
  • Expedite
  • Hasten
  • Opt for the easy way out


  • Thorough
  • Diligent
  • Meticulous
  • Conscientious
  • Procedure
  • Doing things properly
  • Protocol
  • Due Diligence


  • Short end of the stick
  • Rob Peter to pay Paul
  • Quick fix
  • Jury-rigged
  • Band-aid solution
  • Make do with
  • Patch together
  • Wing it

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