to have your work cut out (for you)

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - have your work cut out

"to have your work cut out (for you)"

to have a difficult task to do


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - have your work cut out

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Management has just declared that we must produce three new apps in the next six months in order for the company to stay viable.

Colleague 2:  That is an almost impossible task. We would normally produce one app in six months.

Colleague 1:  I guess we have our work cut out for us. We had better come up with a strategy to get it done.

Colleague 2:  Sure. And cancel any personal plans for the next six months.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - have your work cut out

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  My wife has decided that we should list our house for sale next month.

Friend 2:  Is your house ready to sell?

Friend 1:  Not even close. I need to paint the entire exterior and interior. The flooring needs replacing in the kitchen. Both bathrooms need remodeling and the garage is a mess.

Friend 2:  You definitely have your work cut out getting your house ready for sale.

to have your work cut out (for you) - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   1,033   click for frequency by country

to have your work cut out (for you) - Gerund Form:

Having his work cut out for him, he canceled his weekend plans.

to have your work cut out (for you) - Examples:

1)  With two huts almost completed, construction workers will have their work cut out for them with another dozen or so to go.

2)  Obviously, leaders have their work cut out for them. Area agencies have to fight an uphill battle. 

3)  ... found unresponsive at the bottom of a basement staircase, the team have their work cut out for them as they fight to save his life while avoiding dangerous hazards including ...

4)  The men have their work cut out for them, we are down five points heading into day 2, but ...

5)  ... to be able to hit that 2020 deadline, as they will have their work cut out for them incorporating another batch of new bands into 5G-capable devices.

6)  The new Thai king apparently has his work cut out for him trying to mend fences with the rebellious south. 

7)  He has his work cut out for him but we think he's up for the task.

8)  ... was among the front-runners, but he has his work cut out after breaking the roll bar on his car.

9)  The wounds will not heal quickly and Trump will have his work cut out for him to bring a semblance of unity back to the US.

10)  ... fatigue and the hip began to affect him. The 37-year-old will have his work cut out to maintain this level of play over 82-plus games. 

11)  ... a push for criminal justice reform after the election, he will have his work cut out. It's not an easy thing to make these reforms, ...

12)  ... of three banks under statutory management. The new board clearly has its work cut out for it. The banking sector is suffering a crisis of confidence.

13)  Vine's closure will certainly reverberate among its creators, so Twitter has its work cut out for it in reassuring the community that Periscope is worth the investment.

14)  The hardware is... complex. Nintendo has its work cut out explaining how on earth these controllers are going to be used in practice.

15)  A working group representing five rival superannuation industry bodies has its work cut out to ensure all members have confidence their fund is getting them a good deal.

16)  Firefighters had their work cut out for them because flames were erupting out of every window and opening in the ...

17)  In regard to younger elements I would have thought they had their work cut out earning a living to survive. Again due the stringent cuts on welfare provisions ...

18)  Both had their work cut out for them, having to fight through a huge field of riders.

19)  Competing in Miss Chinatown International, however, means that she has her work cut out for her.

20)  ... is an impressive minister, but has her work cut out to ensure she has the numbers to pass legislation.