Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To betray by acting in contradiction to a prior agreement. synonym: deceive.
  • noun An act of betraying an ally, friend, or associate.
  • noun Genetics A cross in which each parent is the product of a single cross. It can be represented as AB × CD, where A, B, C, and D are inbred lines.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To betray or go back on

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First recorded in 1834 from thieves' slang cross (or on the cross) to refer to something dishonest, a play on straight/square, and therefore a crook going back on his partners would be crossing the crossers, or double-crossing.

Examples

  • Once again, this struck the natives as the worst kind of double-cross.

    A Covert Affair

  • Donovan cabled Macfarland on January 7: Hatz “is working under orders to double-cross you.”

    Wild Bill Donovan

  • Okay, we lost grandma to cancer because the Blue Cross was more of a double-cross when they told us she'd cost them enough and they weren't paying more, but at least Barack Husein Obama didn't make her shovel-ready.

    Brian Ross: The Do-It-Yourself Deprogrammers Guide to Fox News Zombies

  • Donovan cabled Macfarland on January 7: Hatz “is working under orders to double-cross you.”

    Wild Bill Donovan

  • TCM has two of the best: Double Indemnity (tonight, 8 ET/5 PT), a seminal double-cross film noir starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray (in a far cry from his My Three Sons days); and Swing Time (10 ET/7 PT), which may just be the best of the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers films, and is the only one to address hard economic times.

    Critic's Corner Wednesday

  • Okay, we lost grandma to cancer because the Blue Cross was more of a double-cross when they told us she'd cost them enough and they weren't paying more, but at least Barack Husein Obama didn't make her shovel-ready.

    Brian Ross: The Do-It-Yourself Deprogrammers Guide to Fox News Zombies

  • Okay, we lost grandma to cancer because the Blue Cross was more of a double-cross when they told us she'd cost them enough and they weren't paying more, but at least Barack Husein Obama didn't make her shovel-ready.

    Brian Ross: The Do-It-Yourself Deprogrammers Guide to Fox News Zombies

  • Okay, we lost grandma to cancer because the Blue Cross was more of a double-cross when they told us she'd cost them enough and they weren't paying more, but at least Barack Husein Obama didn't make her shovel-ready.

    Brian Ross: The Do-It-Yourself Deprogrammers Guide to Fox News Zombies

  • Okay, we lost grandma to cancer because the Blue Cross was more of a double-cross when they told us she'd cost them enough and they weren't paying more, but at least Barack Husein Obama didn't make her shovel-ready.

    Brian Ross: The Do-It-Yourself Deprogrammers Guide to Fox News Zombies

  • Once again, this struck the natives as the worst kind of double-cross.

    A Covert Affair

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