cut and dried

Idioms & Phrases

cut and dried

Ready-made, predetermined and not changeable. For example, The procedure is not quite cut and driedthere's definitely room for improvisation. This expression originally alluded to herbs for sale in a shop, as opposed to fresh, growing herbs. [c. 1900]

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