A property of a message passing system in which each part of a message is transmitted independently and one part can be forwarded to the next node before the whole message has been received. All parts of a single message follow the same route.
The independent parts are normally small, e.g. one 32-bit word. This reduces the latency and the storage requirements on each node when compared with message switching where a node receives the whole message before it starts to forward it to the next node. It is more complex than message switching because each node must keep track of the messages currently flowing through it.
With cut-through switching, wormhole routing is applied to packets in a packet switching system so that forwarding of a packet starts as soon as its destination is known, before the whole packet had arrived.