raw deal

Idioms & Phrases

raw deal

An instance of unfair or harsh treatment, as in After 25 years with the bank Bob got a raw dealno pension, no retirement benefits of any kind, just a gold watch. Raw here means "crude" or "unfair." [First half of 1900s]

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