cut the mustard

cut the mustard


  • to succeed
  • to come up to expectations
  • to be competent enough
  • to be adequate enough to participate or compete
  • to be up to the standard


  1. My neighbor had applied for the post of architect in a big project, but did not cut the mustard.
  2. That boy wants to be the captain of the team, but does he cut the mustard?
  3. I need a bigger knife for these large fruits; this one doesn’t cut the mustard.
  4. His friends and siblings helped him through this studies, but when it came to working, he couldn’t cut the mustard.
  5. He was a great player, but he retired sometime ago. We’ll have to see if he still cuts the mustard.
  6. Though he had practiced hard, on the day of the trials, he was not at his best, so could not cut the mustard.
  7. When he started his career, he was shy and reserved – no one thought he would cut the mustard; but now, his achievements speaks for themselves.
  8. I have made this flyer for the event. Do you think it would cut the mustard?

The phrase originated in America in the late 1800s. However, why mustard is used as a reference to high quality is unclear.

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