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cut a figure

  1. (idiomatic) To present an image; to make an impression.
    • 1913, Jeffery Farnol, chapter 57, in The Amateur Gentleman:
      Your desire was to cut a figure in the Fashionable World. Well, to-day you have your wish—to-day you are famous.
    • 1919, W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, chapter 27:
      Dirk Stroeve cut such an absurd figure that I felt inclined to laugh.
    • 1950, The Crisis, page 647
      As a leader of the free world the United States cuts an unconvincing figure with its racial segregation.
    • 2010 Sep. 9, Karl Vick, "Israel's Military on the Spot Over Activist's Death," Time:
      Composed and genial, the Corries cut an impressive figure in the sun-drenched Haifa courthouse.

Usage notesEdit

  • Often used with an adjective that modifies figure.