Cut and Dry: Meaning and Examples of this Popular Idiomatic Phrase

During an English conversation, you may have heard a speaker using the term cut and dry, but what is the meaning of this phrase? In this article, we are going to take a look at the meaning as well as finding out where the phrase first came from. We are also going to see some examples of the phrase being used in order to further understand how it fits into a conversation.

Cut and Dry

Cut and Dry Meaning

The idiomatic saying cut and dry means that something has been decided in advance and is set in stone. The term is often used in the negated version of saying that something is ‘not cut and dry.’

Origin of this term

The origin of the phrase cut and dry comes from the use of herbs when they are cut and hung out to dry in order to be ready for use.

“Cut and Dry” Examples

Example Sentences

You are now going to see some examples of how the term cut and dry can be used within a sentence.

The first statement is being made in a press release for a political party.

  • The party has decided that they will not be going ahead with the plan, this decision is cut and dry.

The next statement is one being made by a father.

  • You are not going to the party, that is cut and dry so don’t try to fight it.

Conversation Examples

There are many conversations in which the term cut and dry might be seen. We are now going to take a look at some examples of things you might hear.

The first conversation is taking place between two people in the workplace.

  • Person 1: “Kate asked me to give up my holiday so that she could have time off.”
  • Person 2: “Did you agree?”
  • Person 1: “Not at all, that holiday is cut and dry, I have paid to go to Australia.”

The next conversation is one taking place between two friends.

  • Person 1: “Would I be able to stay at your place for a while?”
  • Person 2: “I will say yes, but that isn’t a cut and dry decision as I will need to check with my wife.”

Interesting examples:

  • He was the usual cut and dry apothecary, of no particular age and color.
  • Unlike novels and other creative works, factual compilations like phone books and directories tend to be cut and dry.

Other Ways to Say “Cut and Dry”

There are other ways in which you might refer to the meaning of the term cut and dry.

Let’s take a look at some examples of other things you might say.

  • Set in stone
  • Plain and simple

Cut and Dry Meaning | Picture

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