pull the rug out from under

Idioms & Phrases

pull the rug out from under

Remove all support and assistance from, usually suddenly. For example, Stopping his allowance pulled the rug out from under him, forcing him to look for a job. This metaphoric term alludes to pulling on a rug a person is standing on so that he or she falls. [Mid-1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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