have one's legs/feet/knees cut out from under (one)

idiom

Definition of have one's legs/feet/knees cut out from under (one)

: be knocked down by something that hits one's legs very hard
  • When I learned that I was seriously ill, I felt as if my feet were cut out from under me.
often used figuratively.
  • When the program lost the grant its financial legs had been cut out from under it.

Word by Word Definitions

leg play legs
  1. : a limb of an animal used especially for supporting the body and for walking: such as

  2. : one of the paired vertebrate limbs that in bipeds extend from the top of the thigh to the foot

  3. : the part of such a limb between the knee and foot

  1. : to use the legs in walking

feet
  1. : plural of foot

knee play knees
  1. : a joint in the middle part of the human leg that is the articulation between the femur, tibia, and patella

  2. : the joint in the hind leg of a four-footed vertebrate that corresponds to the human knee

  3. : the carpal joint of the foreleg of a four-footed vertebrate

  1. : to strike with the knee

  2. : to bend the knee to

cut play
  1. : to penetrate with or as if with an edged instrument

  2. : to hurt the feelings of

  3. : to strike sharply with a cutting effect

  1. : a product of cutting: such as

  2. : an opening made with an edged instrument

  3. : a wound made by something sharp : gash

  1. : marked by a well-developed and highly defined musculature

out play
  1. : in a direction away from the inside or center

  2. : outside

  3. : from among others

  1. : eject, oust

  2. : to identify publicly as being such secretly

  3. : to become publicly known

  1. used as a function word to indicate an outward movement

  1. : situated outside : external

  2. : out-of-bounds

  3. : situated at a distance : outlying

  1. : outside

  2. : one who is out of office or power or on the outside

  3. : an act or instance of putting a player out or of being put out in baseball

  1. : in a manner that exceeds or surpasses and sometimes overpowers or defeats

under play
  1. : in or into a position below or beneath something

  2. : below or short of some quantity, level, or limit

  3. : in or into a condition of subjection, subordination, or unconsciousness

  1. : below or beneath so as to be overhung, surmounted, covered, protected, or concealed by

  2. : subject to the authority, control, guidance, or instruction of

  3. : receiving or undergoing the action or effect of

  1. : lying or placed below, beneath, or on the ventral side

  2. : facing or protruding downward

  3. : lower in rank or authority : subordinate


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