to penetrate with or as if with a sharp-edged instrument or object: He cut his finger.
to detach with or as if with a sharp-edged instrument; separate from the main body; lop off: to cut a slice from a loaf of bread.
to hew or saw down; fell: to cut timber.
to trim by clipping, shearing, paring, or pruning: to cut hair.
to abridge or shorten; edit by omitting a part or parts: to cut a speech.
to repeatedly inflict injury on (oneself) by deliberately cutting the skin, as to cope with negative emotions:Some teenagers cut themselves in response to emotional pain.
to lower, reduce, diminish, or curtail (sometimes followed by down): to cut prices.
to dilute; make less thick: to cut wine.
to dissolve: That detergent cuts grease effectively.
Informal. to cease; discontinue (often followed by out): Cut the kidding.Let's cut out the pretense.
to stop; halt the running of, as a liquid or an engine (often followed by off): The pilot cut the engines and glided in for a landing. Cut off the hot water.
to dilute or adulterate (a drug) by mixing it with other substances.
to grow (a tooth or teeth) through the gum: The baby is cutting his teeth.
to type, write, or draw on (a stencil) for mimeographing.
to make or fashion by cutting, as a statue, jewel, or garment.
Glassmaking. to produce a pattern (in glass) by grinding and polishing.
to refuse to recognize socially; shun ostentatiously: Her friends began to cut her as the season progressed.
to strike sharply, as with a whip.
to absent oneself from: allowed to cut three classes per semester.
to stop (a scene or shot being filmed).
to edit (a film).
to wound the feelings of severely.
to divide (a pack of cards) at random into two or more parts, by removing cards from the top.
to take (a card) from a deck.
to record a selection on (a phonograph record or tape); make a recording of.
Sports. to hit (a ball) with either the hand or some instrument so as to change its course and often to cause it to spin.
Cricket. to strike and send off (a ball) in front of the batsman, and parallel to the wicket.
Slang. to be a nonplaying dealer, manager, or supervisor of (a card game, crap game, or other gambling game) in return for a percentage of the money bet or sometimes for a fee.
to penetrate or divide something, as with a sharp-edged instrument; make an incision: The scissors cut well.
to admit of being cut: Butter cuts easily.
to repeatedly inflict self-injury by deliberately cutting the skin.
to pass, go, or come, especially in the most direct way (usually followed by across, through, in, etc.): to cut across an empty lot.
to shift suddenly from one shot to another: Cut to the barroom interior.
to stop the action of a scene: used as a command by a director.
to make a sudden or sharp turn in direction; change direction suddenly; swerve: We cut to the left to avoid hitting the cyclist.
to strike a person, animal, etc., sharply, as with a whip.
to wound the feelings severely: His criticism cut deep.
(of the teeth) to grow through the gums.
Cards. to cut the cards.
Informal. to leave hastily: to cut for the hills.
(of a horse)
to separate a specific animal from a herd of cattle.
that has been subjected to cutting; divided into pieces by cutting; detached by cutting: cut flowers.
fashioned by cutting; having the surface shaped or ornamented by grinding, polishing, or the like: cut diamonds.
reduced by or as if by cutting: cut whiskey; cut prices.
Botany. incised; cleft.
the act of cutting; a stroke or a blow, as with a knife, whip, etc.
the result of cutting, as an incision, wound, passage, or channel.
a piece cut off: a cut of a pie.
Informal. a share, especially of earnings or profits: His agent's cut is 20 percent.
a haircut, often with a styling.
a reduction in price, salary, etc.
the manner or fashion in which anything is cut: the cut of a dress.
a passage or course straight across or through: a cut through the woods.
an excision or omission of a part.
a part or quantity of text deleted or omitted.
a quantity cut, especially of lumber.
a refusal to recognize an acquaintance.
an act, speech, etc., that wounds the feelings.
an engraved plate or block of wood used for printing.
a printed picture or illustration.
an absence, as from a school class, at which attendance is required.
Butchering. part of an animal usually cut as one piece.
Cards. a cutting of the cards.
the act of cutting a ball.
the spin imparted.
Fencing. a blow with the edge of the blade instead of the tip.
one of several pieces of straw, paper, etc., used in drawing lots.
the instantaneous or gradual transition from one shot or scene to another in an edited film.
an act or instance of editing a film.
an individual song, musical piece, or other similar material on a record or tape.
any product of the fractional distillation of petroleum.
cut across, to precede or go beyond considerations of; transcend: The new tax program cuts across party lines.
to strike and cause to fall: The first force to attempt an advance was swiftly cut down.
to destroy, kill, or disable: The hurricane cut down everything in its path.
to remodel, remake, or reduce in size, as a garment: She had her old coat cut down to fit her daughter.
to move or thrust oneself, a vehicle, etc., abruptly between others: A speeding car cut in and nearly caused an accident.
Informal. to interrupt a dancing couple in order to dance with one of them.
to blend (shortening) into flour by means of a knife.
to stop suddenly; discontinue.
to halt the operation of; turn off.
to shut off or shut out.
to sever; separate.
to omit; delete; excise.
to oust and replace a rival; supplant.
to part an animal from a herd.
to plan; arrange: He has his work cut out for him.
to move out of one's lane of traffic.
Also cut on out. Slang. to leave suddenly.
Informal. to refrain from; stop: to cut out smoking.
(of an engine, machine, etc.) to stop running.
to cut into pieces or sections.
to lacerate; wound.
to distress mentally; injure.
Informal. to play pranks; misbehave: They were scolded for cutting up in church.
Idioms about cut
a cut above, somewhat superior to another (thing, person, etc.) in some respect: Her work is a cut above anyone else's.
cut a caper / figure, to perform a spirited, brief, outlandish dance step, especially as a result of euphoria.
cut a figure,
to give a certain impression of oneself: He cut a distinguished figure in his tuxedo.
cut and run,
Nautical. to cut the anchor cable and set sail, as in an emergency.
to leave as hurriedly as possible; flee.
to shorten by cutting off the end.
to curtail or discontinue: Steel production has been cut back in recent months.
to return to an earlier episode or event, as in the plot of a novel.
Football. to reverse direction suddenly by moving in the diagonally opposite course.
cut both ways, to have, produce, or result in advantages as well as disadvantages: This decision will inevitably cut both ways.
cut down to size, to reduce the stature or importance of: The novelist had a big ego until the critics cut him down to size.: Also chop down to size .
cut it, Informal.
to achieve or maintain a desired level of performance: The aging football player decided he couldn't cut it any longer and retired.
to be effective or successful; satisfy a need.
cut it out, Informal. to stop doing something: That hurts! Cut it out!
cut no ice, Informal. ice (def. 25).
cut out for, fitted for; capable of: He wasn't cut out for military service.
cut the cheese, Slang. cheese1 (def. 13).
- half-cut, adjective
- mis·cut, verb, mis·cut, mis·cut·ting.
- out·cut, verb (used with object), out·cut, out·cut·ting.
- re·cut, verb, re·cut, re·cut·ting.
- well-cut, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use cut in a sentence
For example, the Postal Service routinely mothballs sorting machines to cut out excess capacity, USPS officials have said.Federal judge issues temporary injunction against USPS operational changes amid concerns about mail slowdowns | Elise Viebeck, Jacob Bogage | September 17, 2020 | Washington Post
The president, for his part, has described many of those critical as “disgruntled former employees” who were not cut out for his administration.Former Pence aide says she will vote for Biden because of Trump’s ‘flat out disregard for human life’ during pandemic | Josh Dawsey | September 17, 2020 | Washington Post
Tech’s coveted internships were some of the first roles to be cut as offices closed and businesses shuttered in response to the coronavirus.Forage, formerly InsideSherpa, raises $9.3 million Series A for virtual work experiences | Natasha Mascarenhas | September 17, 2020 | TechCrunch
A new app promises to use cutting-edge science and technology to tell you if you’re right.What’s your biological age? A new app promises to reveal it—and help you slow the aging process | Jeremy Kahn | September 17, 2020 | Fortune
The company, which employs about 2,800 people, plans to make a one-time payment of $20,000 to those who decide to leave San Francisco, New York, or Seattle, according to Bloomberg—though it also plans to cut their base salaries by as much as 10%.
In this cockamamie get-rich scheme, would they all issue an apology if he cut a check?
My understanding was that according to most Christian beliefs, being trans or gay was a sin, cut and dry.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen | Parker Molloy | January 1, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Crew members had to cut through the ice on the streets to get shots.Speed Read: The Juiciest Bits From the History of ‘Purple Rain’ | Jennie Yabroff | January 1, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
In response to the screen quota cut, South Korea established a “cinema tax” on the box office.Propaganda, Protest, and Poisonous Vipers: The Cinema War in Korea | Rich Goldstein | December 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Supported by Washington, the domestic quota was cut from 90 days to 30.Propaganda, Protest, and Poisonous Vipers: The Cinema War in Korea | Rich Goldstein | December 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
If the "Y" Beach lot press their advantage they may cut off the enemy troops on the toe of the Peninsula.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
At the reserve bank they may borrow as a standing right and not as a favor which may be cut off.Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips
It occurred to him then, for the first time, that a third resource was open—he might cut the rope, and let the kite go free!The Giant of the North | R.M. Ballantyne
My thought was to keep pushing in troops from "W" Beach until the enemy had fallen back to save themselves from being cut off.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
Levison's relations think he will cut up well at his death; Levison's relations are right.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
British Dictionary definitions for cut
to open up or incise (a person or thing) with a sharp edge or instrument; gash
(of a sharp instrument) to penetrate or incise (a person or thing)
to divide or be divided with or as if with a sharp instrument: cut a slice of bread
(intr) to use a sharp-edged instrument or an instrument that cuts
(tr) to trim or prune by or as if by clipping: to cut hair
(tr) to reap or mow (a crop, grass, etc)
(tr) to geld or castrate
(tr sometimes foll by out) to make, form, or shape by cutting: to cut a suit
(tr) to hollow or dig out; excavate: to cut a tunnel through the mountain
to strike (an object) sharply
(tr) sport to hit (a ball) with a downward slicing stroke so as to impart spin or cause it to fall short
cricket to hit (the ball) to the off side, usually between cover and third man, with a roughly horizontal bat
to hurt or wound the feelings of (a person), esp by malicious speech or action
(tr) informal to refuse to recognize; snub
(tr) informal to absent oneself from (an activity, location, etc), esp without permission or in haste: to cut class
(tr) to abridge, shorten, or edit by excising a part or parts
(tr often foll by down) to lower, reduce, or curtail: to cut losses
(tr) to dilute or weaken: heroin that was cut with nontoxic elements
(tr) to dissolve or break up: to cut fat
(when intr, foll by across or through) to cross or traverse: the footpath cuts through the field
(intr) to make a sharp or sudden change in direction; veer
to grow (teeth) through the gums or (of teeth) to appear through the gums
to call a halt to a shooting sequence
(foll by to) to move quickly to another scene
films to edit (film)
(tr) to switch off (a light, car engine, etc)
(tr) (of a performer, recording company, etc) to make (a record or tape of a song, concert, performance, etc)
to divide (the pack) at random into two parts after shuffling
(intr) to pick cards from a spread pack to decide dealer, partners, etc
(tr) to remove (material) from an object by means of a chisel, lathe, etc
(tr) (of a tool) to bite into (an object)
(intr) (of a horse) to injure the leg just above the hoof by a blow from the opposite foot
cut a caper or cut capers
to skip or jump playfully
to act or behave playfully; frolic
cut both ways
to have both good and bad effects
to affect both sides of something, as two parties in an argument, etc
cut a dash to behave or dress showily or strikingly; make a stylish impression
cut a person dead informal to ignore a person completely
cut a good figure to appear or behave well
cut a poor figure to appear or behave badly
cut and run informal to make a rapid escape
cut it slang be successful in doing something
cut it fine informal to allow little margin of time, space, etc
cut corners to do something in the easiest or shortest way, esp at the expense of high standards: we could finish this project early only if we cut corners
cut loose to free or become freed from restraint, custody, anchorage, etc
cut no ice informal to fail to make an impression
cut one's losses to give up spending time, money, or energy on an unprofitable or unsuccessful activity
cut one's teeth on informal
to use at an early age or stage
to practise on
detached, divided, or separated by cutting
botany incised or divided: cut leaves
made, shaped, or fashioned by cutting
reduced or diminished by or as if by cutting: cut prices
gelded or castrated
weakened or diluted
British a slang word for drunk
cut and dried informal settled or arranged in advance
cut lunch Australian and NZ a sandwich lunch carried from home to work, school, etc
the act of cutting
a stroke or incision made by cutting; gash
a piece or part cut off, esp a section of food cut from the whole: a cut of meat
the edge of anything cut or sliced
a passage, channel, path, etc, cut or hollowed out
an omission or deletion, esp in a text, film, or play
a reduction in price, salary, etc
a decrease in government finance in a particular department or area, usually leading to a reduction of services, staff numbers, etc
short for power cut
mainly US and Canadian a quantity of timber cut during a specific time or operation
informal a portion or share
informal a straw, slip of paper, etc, used in drawing lots
the manner or style in which a thing, esp a garment, is cut; fashion
Irish informal a person's general appearance: I didn't like the cut of him
Irish derogatory a dirty or untidy condition: look at the cut of your shoes
a direct route; short cut
the US name for block (def. 15)
sport the spin of a cut ball
cricket a stroke made with the bat in a roughly horizontal position
films an immediate transition from one shot to the next, brought about by splicing the two shots together
informal an individual piece of music on a record; track
words or an action that hurt another person's feelings
a refusal to recognize an acquaintance; snub
informal, mainly US an unauthorized absence, esp from a school class
chem a fraction obtained in distillation, as in oil refining
the metal removed in a single pass of a machine tool
the shape of the teeth of a file
their coarseness or fineness
British a stretch of water, esp a canal
a cut above informal superior (to); better (than)
make the cut golf to better or equal the required score after two rounds in a strokeplay tournament, thus avoiding elimination from the final two rounds
miss the cut golf to achieve a greater score after the first two rounds of a strokeplay tournament than that required to play in the remaining two rounds
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Other Idioms and Phrases with cut
In addition to the idioms beginning with cut
- cut above
- cut across
- cut a deal
- cut adrift
- cut a long story short
- cut and dried
- cut and paste
- cut and run
- cut a wide swath
- cut back
- cut both ways
- cut capers
- cut class
- cut corners
- cut dead
- cut down
- cute as a button
- cut ice
- cut in
- cut into
- cut it
- cut it fine
- cut it out
- cut loose
- cut no ice
- cut off
- cut off one's nose to spite one's face
- cut off with a shilling
- cut of one's jib
- cut one's losses
- cut one's teeth on
- cut out
- cut out of whole cloth
- cut short
- cut someone dead
- cut someone's throat
- cut teeth
- cut the comedy
- cut the ground from under
- cut the mustard
- cut to the bone
- cut to the chase
- cut to the quick
- cut up
- (cut) down to size
- fish or cut bait
- have one's work cut out
- like a chicken with its head cut off
- make (cut) a long story short
- unkindest cut
- you could cut it with a knife
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.