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

  • adjective Capable of or designed for incising, shearing, or severing.
  • adjective Sharply penetrating; piercing.
  • adjective Injuring or capable of injuring the feelings of others.
  • noun A part cut off from a main body.
  • noun A part, such as a stem, leaf, or root, removed from a plant to propagate a new plant, as through rooting or grafting.
  • noun An excavation made through high ground in a construction project.
  • noun The editing of film or recording tape.
  • noun Chiefly British A clipping, as from a newspaper.
  • noun Self-injury in which cuts are made in the skin.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Penetrating or dividing by a cut, as of an edged tool; serving to penetrate or divide; sharp.
  • 2. Wounding or deeply affecting the feelings, as with pain, shame, etc.; satirical; severe: applied to persons or things: as, he was very cutting; a cutting remark.
  • Thieving; swaggering; bullying.
  • noun A process in bookbinding. After gluing, rounding, and backing, the edges are cut in a special machine. Cutting is one of the secondary processes included in the general term forwarding. See forwarding, n., 2.
  • noun An area upon which the entire stand has been cut.
  • noun A piece cut off; a slip; a slice; a clipping.
  • noun A section; a thin slice used for microscopical purposes.
  • noun A slip cut from a newspaper or other print containing a paragraph or an article which one wishes to use or preserve.
  • noun An excavation made through a hill or rising ground, in constructing a road, railway, canal, etc.: the opposite of a filling.
  • noun The action of a horse when he strikes the inner and lower part of the fetlock-joint with the opposite hoof while traveling.
  • noun A caper; a curvet.
  • noun In coal-mining, work done in mining or getting coal so that it may be broken down.
  • noun plural The refuse obtained from the sieve of a hutch.
  • noun plural Bruised groats, or oats prepared for gruel, porridge, etc.
  • noun See the extract.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act or process of making an incision, or of severing, felling, shaping, etc.
  • noun Something cut, cut off, or cut out, as a twig or scion cut off from a stock for the purpose of grafting or of rooting as an independent plant; something cut out of a newspaper; an excavation cut through a hill or elsewhere to make a way for a railroad, canal, etc.; a cut.
  • adjective Adapted to cut.
  • adjective Chilling; penetrating; sharp.
  • adjective Severe; sarcastic; biting.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Present participle of cut.
  • noun countable, uncountable The action of the verb to cut.
  • noun countable A section removed from the larger whole.
  • noun countable A newspaper clipping.
  • noun countable A leaf, stem, branch, or root removed from a plant and cultivated to grow a new plant.
  • noun countable An abridged selection of written work, often intended for performance.
  • noun uncountable The editing of film or other recordings.
  • noun uncountable Self-harm; the act of cutting one's own skin.
  • noun countable A narrow passage, dug for a road, railway or canal to go through.
  • adjective not comparable That is used for cutting.
  • adjective Of remarks, criticism, etc., potentially hurtful.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the act of penetrating or opening open with a sharp edge
  • noun the act of shortening something by chopping off the ends
  • noun the activity of selecting the scenes to be shown and putting them together to create a film
  • noun the division of a deck of cards before dealing
  • noun the act of cutting something into parts
  • noun the act of diluting something
  • adjective painful as if caused by a sharp instrument
  • noun an excerpt cut from a newspaper or magazine
  • noun removing parts from hard material to create a desired pattern or shape
  • noun a part (sometimes a root or leaf or bud) removed from a plant to propagate a new plant through rooting or grafting


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word cutting.


  • The subjects of “purpose of thread cutting, kinds of threads” as the description of the “tools for thread cutting” should be taught by employing all the teaching aids available.

    1. Objectives and contents of practical vocational training in the working technique of “Manual Thread Cutting” 1990

  • The expression "cutting the cord" describes a necessary action to take when it's time to end a dependent relationship.

    Nancy Fagan: Cut the Marital Cord, Already! Nancy Fagan 2011

  • The expression "cutting the cord" describes a necessary action to take when it's time to end a dependent relationship.

    Nancy Fagan: Cut the Marital Cord, Already! Nancy Fagan 2011

  • The term cutting edge is so misleading – many of our autistic children entering their teens are doing so well not just from ABA but from all types of medically sound early interventions with speech, PT, OT, food, psychological and psychiatric therapies.

    Autism: A journey of recovery 2009

  • Having assured my fellow-traveller of my unqualified approbation of all I had witnessed, there was a short pause, during which he employed himself in cutting from a cake of honeydew a small plug about half an inch square; this went to replace one which he deposited unpleasantly near my feet.

    The Civil War in America 1861

  • So it must have been very clever what they call cutting or editing or some such veshch.

    Where's the show? John Myles Aavedal 2010

  • We have also, however, been looking at what I call cutting-edge techniques that terrorists might develop in creating improvised explosive devices.

    CNN Transcript Aug 10, 2006 2006

  • We have also, however, been looking at what I call cutting-edge techniques that terrorists might develop in creating improvised explosive devices.

    CNN Transcript Aug 10, 2006 2006

  • Currants are raised from cuttings generally about a foot long, all the buds from which are taken off, except five or six at the top; and the cutting is then firmly fixed in the soil about six inches deep.

    The Lady's Country Companion: or, How to Enjoy a Country Life Rationally Jane 1845

  • "That's what I call cutting the Gordian knot," said M. Grimaldi.

    Memoirs of Casanova — Volume 21: South of France Giacomo Casanova 1761

  • At first, like a lot of beginner lifters, I could lose body fat and gain muscle at the same time (“recomposition”), but eventually, in order to keep getting stronger, I needed to intentionally gain weight to gain more muscle (“bulking”), which could be then followed by losing a little body fat slowly and carefully (“cutting”), and then starting the bulking process over again.

    What Does It Actually Take to ‘Get Toned’ Like My Instagram Fitness Crush? Casey Johnston 2021


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "The journey piobaireachd'>into piobaireachd starts with a series of simple gracenotes called 'cuttings', made by raising and lowering a finger smartly while another note is being sounded. Cuttings are the commonest piping gracenotes and they do two jobs: (a) they add varying force of emphasis to a note—important because the piper does not have other ways of doing this, such as playing more loudly or softly ... and (b) they separate two or more notes at the same pitch—a characteristic blend of elegance and usefulness, so often found in piping."

    —William Donaldson, Pipers: A Guide to the Players and Music of the Highland Bagpipe (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2005),10

    July 27, 2008