cut the cord


cut the cord


  • to end a connection with someone
  • to stop relying on someone or something
  • to do something that makes one independent
  • stop needing somebody else to look after you and start acting independently

Example Sentences

  1. In order to achieve true independence, developing countries must cut the cord and stop asking for financial aid from the developed countries.
  2. “Thanks for all the help, mum, but it’s time to cut the cord.”
  3. His rich girlfriend cut the cord, and now he needs to get a job.
  4. If he didn’t cut the cord with his business partner, the company would not have gone bankrupt.
  5. After months of poor performances, the team finally cut the cord and parted ways with the manager.
  6. Jessica needs to cut the cord or suffer the consequences of allowing David to take over her business.


The idiom originates from the cutting of the umbilical cord immediately after birth. The umbilical cord is the tube-like structure that supplies the developing foetus with nutrients and oxygen while in the mother’s womb. The foetus is utterly reliant on the umbilical cord, and therefore “cutting the cord” ends the newborn baby’s reliance on nutrition from the cord.

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I think of it in relation to divorce. Some pagans use actual cords to celebrate handfasting, aka marriage in a handfasting ritual. The cords are wrapped around the parties being married by the celebrant. If they part ways somewhere down the line then the cord is taken out and cut in half.

- Ro M August 1, 2022

I see this often now as it relates to cable TV and watching video entertainment online. There is likely to be a new generation that only views it as getting rid of cable TV. The following generation won't understand that any more than they'd understand "don't touch that dial."

- Paul Hoffman April 13, 2021

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