Older Use. a pickpocket.
(formerly) a person who steals by cutting purses from the belt.


Nearby words

  1. cutline,
  2. cutlips minnow,
  3. cutoff,
  4. cutout,
  5. cutover,
  6. cuts,
  7. cuttable,
  8. cuttack,
  9. cuttage,
  10. cutter

Origin of cutpurse

First recorded in 1325–75, cutpurse is from the Middle English word cutte-purs. See cut, purse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cutpurse

British Dictionary definitions for cutpurse



an archaic word for pickpocket
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

Word Origin and History for cutpurse



"one who steals by the method of cutting purses, a common practice when men wore their purses at their girdles" [Johnson], mid-14c., from cut (v.) + purse (n.). The word continued after the method switched to picking pockets.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper