Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

work cut out (for)

work cut outwork cut out for
Meaning(s)
1) be faced with something difficult to do
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • the task was difficult, so I knew I had my work cut out for me
  • Analysis

    When someone says ‘you have your work cut out for you’, it means that they think the task or work that is expected of you will be difficult or challenging. If there is a client for example who is very demanding you might warn your new colleague 'you have your work cut out for you with him', for example, to let them know you expect their work with the client to be challenging and difficult. This is a casual expression that you will find used in both social and professional contexts. Similar in meaning to 'an uphill struggle' and 'you'll have your hands full'.

  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. The team have won every game since he got injured, so he'll have his work cut out for him getting back into the side when he's fit again.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. With all these little hiccups we've experienced, we're going to have our work cut out for ourselves to get this order in before the deadline.
    2. Anne is better qualified and has more experience than me, so I really have my work cut out if I'm to get the vacant managerial position ahead of her. 
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