have it both ways


1. attempt to benefit from two mutually exclusive things






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can't have it both ways

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To 'have it both ways' means to benefit at the same time from two contrasting or contradictory things rather than choosing one over the other. Similar in meaning to the idiom to 'have your cake and eat it too.'

Check Icon Social Examples (Basic)

  1. He says he wants to spend more time with his family yet he always goes to the pub after work. He has to choose which is more important to him because he can't have it both ways
  2. The local council have pledged to balance the books while also promising considerable investment in the community. They're trying to have it both ways.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. You either put in long hours and get promoted or take more time off to go on holiday. You can't have it both ways.
  2. Women find they fall behind in their career when they have children. Often they make the choice between family and career and find it difficult to have it both ways.

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