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

  • intransitive verb To penetrate with a sharp edge; strike a narrow opening in.
  • intransitive verb To separate into parts with or as if with a sharp-edged instrument; sever.
  • intransitive verb To sever the edges or ends of; shorten.
  • intransitive verb To mow, reap, or harvest.
  • intransitive verb To fell by sawing; hew.
  • intransitive verb To have (a new tooth) grow through the gums.
  • intransitive verb To form or shape by severing or incising.
  • intransitive verb To form or shape by grinding.
  • intransitive verb To form by penetrating, probing, or digging.
  • intransitive verb To exhibit the appearance or give the impression of.
  • intransitive verb To separate from a main body; detach.
  • intransitive verb To separate from a group.
  • intransitive verb To discharge from a group or number.
  • intransitive verb To pass through or across; cross.
  • intransitive verb Games To divide (a deck of cards) into two parts, as in completing a shuffle or in exposing a card at random.
  • intransitive verb To reduce the size, extent, or duration of; curtail or shorten.
  • intransitive verb To remove or delete.
  • intransitive verb Computers To remove (a segment) from a document or graphics file for storage in a buffer.
  • intransitive verb To lessen the strength of; dilute.
  • intransitive verb To dissolve by breaking down the fat of.
  • intransitive verb To injure the feelings of; hurt keenly.
  • intransitive verb To refuse to speak to or recognize; snub.
  • intransitive verb To fail to attend purposely.
  • intransitive verb Informal To cease; stop.
  • intransitive verb To strike (a ball) so that it spins in a reverse direction.
  • intransitive verb To throw or hit (a ball) on a curving trajectory.
  • intransitive verb To perform.
  • intransitive verb To make out and issue.
  • intransitive verb To arrange or reach (an agreement).
  • intransitive verb Slang To be able to manage; handle successfully.
  • intransitive verb To stop filming (a movie scene).
  • intransitive verb To record a performance on (a phonograph record or other medium).
  • intransitive verb To make a recording of (a song, for example).
  • intransitive verb To edit (a movie or audio recording).
  • intransitive verb Vulgar Slang To expel (a discharge of intestinal gas).
  • intransitive verb To injure (oneself) by penetrating the skin with a sharp object.
  • intransitive verb To make an incision or a separation.
  • intransitive verb To allow incision or severing.
  • intransitive verb To function as a sharp-edged instrument.
  • intransitive verb To remove part of something, such as a text or film.
  • intransitive verb Computers To remove a part of a document or graphics file and store it in a buffer.
  • intransitive verb To grow through the gums. Used of teeth.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English cutten.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English cutten, kitten, kytten, ketten, ("to cut"; compare Scots kut, kit ("to cut")), from Old English *cyttan (“to cut”), from Proto-Germanic *kutjanan, *kuttanan (“to cut”), of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Proto-Germanic *kwetwan ("meat, flesh"; > Old Norse Old Norse kvett ("meat")). Akin to Middle Swedish kotta ("to cut or carve with a knife"; > Swedish dialectal kåta, kuta ("to cut or chip with a knife"), Swedish kuta, kytti ("a knife")), Norwegian kutte ("to cut"), Icelandic kuta ("to cut with a knife"), Old Norse kuti ("small knife"), Norwegian kyttel, kytel, kjutul ("pointed slip of wood used to strip bark").


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  • "Fifty dollars reward, for the negro Jim Blake -- has a _piece cut out of each ear_, and the middle finger of the left hand _cut off_ to the second joint."

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus American Anti-Slavery Society

  • "Fifty dollars reward, for the negro Jim Blake -- has a _piece cut out of each ear_, and the middle finger of the left hand _cut off_ to the second joint."

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 3 of 4 American Anti-Slavery Society

  • The only remaining type of cutting that is in very general use is the _step cut_ (sometimes known as trap cut).

    A Text-Book of Precious Stones for Jewelers and the Gem-Loving Public Frank Bertram Wade

  • No mess liked to have him permanently because his presence cut off all talk of home or of the prospect of return, of politics or letters, of peace or of war, —cut off more than half the talk the men liked to have at sea.

    The Man without a Country 1917

  • "But you've all cut the question: tell me now, supposing you had known king David, should you have thought worse of him, should you have been cool to him -- in a word, should you have _cut_ him after his fall?"

    Julian Home 1867

  • We didn't go there any more then, and I asked Rose what the reason was, and she said Mrs. Mason was poor now, and ma had 'cut her;' and when I asked her what she _cut_ her with, she only laughed, and said she believed I didn't know any thing.

    The English Orphans Mary Jane Holmes 1866

  • A "temple" is a place thus separated, or cut off from other places; for the root of this word, like that of "tempus" (time) is the same as the Greek τέμνω, _to cut_.

    Ten Great Religions An Essay in Comparative Theology James Freeman Clarke 1849

  • "I didn't cut off his tail, sir; he _cut it off himself_!"

    Newton Forster The Merchant Service Frederick Marryat 1820

  • Sacramento Bee and Miami Herald •plans to cut 1600 jobs •slash executive and director pay and halt bonuses www. Eastman Chemical Co. will cut 200 to 300 jobs •cut costs by another $100 million. - Business News 2010

  • Chemical Co. will cut 200 to 300 jobs •cut costs by another $100 million. - Business News 2010

  • When a change initially made for people with specific disadvantages ends up making a lot of people’s lives better, that’s the Curb Cut Effect.

    What Ignoring the Disability Community Costs Hollywood Kerry McLaughlin 2020


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  • Contronymic in the sense: remove vs. gain (your share).

    January 27, 2007

  • In rare/antique books, an illustration printed within the text or on a text page (rather than on a separate page).

    February 20, 2007

  • Stop filming and 'check the gate'. The gate is only checked after filming the 'take' the director wants to print.

    June 12, 2008

  • Traditionally, every evening sheep are encouraged to rake out (spread far out to graze) on to the fells and moorland, returning to the lower ground by the next morning. The flock ranges over very large areas, ensuring an even grazing of the available ground. Even within a hefted flock there are subgroups - different groups of sheep on different "cuts" of the hill. At the autumn markets these animals are often listed in the sales catalogue under the name of the farm and the cut they belonged to.

    From the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic, in The Guardian

    December 25, 2008

  • To renounce acquaintance with anyone is to cut him. There are several species of the cut:

    The cut direct: to start across the street at the approach of the obnoxious person in order to avoid him.

    The cut indirect: to look another way, and pass without appearing to observe him.

    The cut sublime: to admire the top of King's College Chapel, or the beauty of the passing clouds, until he is out of sight.

    The cut infernal: to analyze the arrangement of your shoe-strings, for the same purpose.

    July 17, 2009

  • "Tom, returning with the instrument of correction, undressed the delinquent in a trice, and whispering in his ear, that he was very sorry for being employed in such an office, but durst not for his soul disobey the orders of his commander, flourished the scourge about his head, and with admirable dexterity made such a smarting application to the offender's back and shoulders, that the distracted gauger performed sundry new cuts with his feet, and bellowed hideously with pain, to the infinite satisfaction of the spectators."

    — Smollett, Peregrine Pickle, 1751

    January 15, 2022