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

  • transitive v. To penetrate with a sharp edge; strike a narrow opening in.
  • transitive v. To separate into parts with or as if with a sharp-edged instrument; sever: cut cloth with scissors.
  • transitive v. To sever the edges or ends of; shorten: cut one's hair.
  • transitive v. To mow, reap, or harvest: cut grain; cut grass.
  • transitive v. To fell by sawing; hew.
  • transitive v. To have (a new tooth) grow through the gums.
  • transitive v. To form or shape by severing or incising: a doll that was cut from paper.
  • transitive v. To form or shape by grinding: cut a diamond.
  • transitive v. To form by penetrating, probing, or digging: cut a trench.
  • transitive v. To exhibit the appearance or give the impression of: cuts a fine figure on the dance floor.
  • transitive v. To separate from a main body; detach: cut a limb from a tree.
  • transitive v. To separate from a group: cut a calf from a herd.
  • transitive v. To discharge from a group or number: had to cut six players from the team.
  • transitive v. To pass through or across; cross: a sailboat cutting the water.
  • transitive v. Games To divide (a deck of cards) into two parts, as in completing a shuffle or in exposing a card at random.
  • transitive v. To reduce the size, extent, or duration of; curtail or shorten: cut a payroll; cut a budget; cut the cooking time in half.
  • transitive v. To remove or delete: cut a line from a poem.
  • transitive v. Computer Science To remove (a segment) from a document or graphics file for storage in a buffer.
  • transitive v. To lessen the strength of; dilute: cut whiskey with water.
  • transitive v. To dissolve by breaking down the fat of: Soap cuts grease.
  • transitive v. To injure the feelings of; hurt keenly.
  • transitive v. To refuse to speak to or recognize; snub: cut me dead at the party.
  • transitive v. To fail to attend purposely: cut a class.
  • transitive v. Informal To cease; stop: cut the noise; cut an engine.
  • transitive v. Sports To strike (a ball) so that it spins in a reverse direction.
  • transitive v. To perform: cut a caper.
  • transitive v. To make out and issue: cut a check to cover travel expenses.
  • transitive v. Slang To be able to manage; handle successfully: couldn't cut the long hours anymore.
  • transitive v. To stop filming (a movie scene).
  • transitive v. To record a performance on (a phonograph record or other medium).
  • transitive v. To make a recording of.
  • transitive v. To edit (film or recording tape).
  • transitive v. Vulgar Slang To expel (a discharge of intestinal gas).
  • intransitive v. To make an incision or a separation: Cut along the dotted line.
  • intransitive v. To allow incision or severing: Butter cuts easily.
  • intransitive v. To function as a sharp-edged instrument.
  • intransitive v. To remove part of something, such as a text or film.
  • intransitive v. Computer Science To remove a part of a document or graphics file and store it in a buffer.
  • intransitive v. To grow through the gums. Used of teeth.
  • intransitive v. To injure someone's feelings: a remark that cut without mercy.
  • intransitive v. To change direction abruptly: Cut to the left at the next intersection.
  • intransitive v. To go directly and often hastily: cut across a field.
  • intransitive v. Games To divide a pack of cards into two parts, especially in order to make a chance decision or selection.
  • intransitive v. To make an abrupt change of image or sound, as in filming: cut from one shot to another.
  • intransitive v. To be very astute and penetrating: an analysis that cuts deep.
  • n. The act of cutting.
  • n. The result of cutting, especially an opening or wound made by a sharp edge.
  • n. A part that has been cut from a main body: a cut of beef; a cut of cloth.
  • n. A passage made by digging or probing.
  • n. The elimination or removal of a part: a cut in a speech.
  • n. A reduction: a cut in salary.
  • n. Sports The remainder of contestants in a competition, especially in golf, after some have been eliminated: did very well but still missed the cut.
  • n. The style in which a garment is cut: a suit of traditional cut.
  • n. A haircut.
  • n. Informal A portion of profits or earnings; a share.
  • n. A wounding remark; an insult.
  • n. An unexcused absence, as from school or a class.
  • n. A step in a scale of value or quality; degree: a cut above the average.
  • n. Printing An engraved block or plate.
  • n. Printing A print made from such a block.
  • n. Sports A stroke that causes a ball to spin in a reverse direction.
  • n. Baseball A swing of a bat.
  • n. Games The act of dividing a deck of cards into two parts, as before dealing.
  • n. One of the objects used in drawing lots.
  • n. An abrupt change of image or sound, as between shots in a film.
  • n. A transition from one scene to another in a film, video, or television program.
  • n. A movie at a given stage in its editing: approved the final cut for distribution.
  • n. A single selection of music from a recording, especially a phonograph recording.
  • adj. Having the ends or edges cut: admired his newly cut hair.
  • adj. Having been cut or clipped off: cut grass that blew in the wind.
  • adj. Printing Having the page edge slit or trimmed. Used of a book.
  • adj. Ground to a specific shape: cut gemstones.
  • adj. Slang Circumcised. Used of a man or boy.
  • cut back To shorten by cutting; prune.
  • cut back To reduce or decrease: cut back production.
  • cut down To kill or strike down.
  • cut down To alter by removing extra or additional fittings: cut down a car for racing.
  • cut down To reduce the amount taken or used: cutting down on one's intake of rich foods.
  • cut in To move into a line of people or things out of turn.
  • cut in To interrupt: During the debate my opponent kept cutting in.
  • cut in To interrupt a dancing couple in order to dance with one of them.
  • cut in To connect or become connected into an electrical circuit.
  • cut in To mix in with or as if with cutting motions: Measure out the flour and use a pair of knives to cut the shortening in.
  • cut in To include, especially among those profiting.
  • cut off To separate from others; isolate.
  • cut off To stop suddenly; discontinue.
  • cut off To shut off; bar.
  • cut off To interrupt the course or passage of: The infielder cut off the throw to the plate.
  • cut off To interrupt or break the line of communication of: The telephone operator cut us off.
  • cut off To disinherit: cut their heirs off without a cent.
  • cut out To remove by or as if by cutting.
  • cut out To form or shape by or as if by cutting.
  • cut out To take the place of; supplant.
  • cut out To suit or fit by nature: I'm not cut out to be a hero.
  • cut out To assign beforehand or by necessity; predetermine: We've got our work cut out for us.
  • cut out To deprive: felt cut out of all the fun.
  • cut out To stop; cease.
  • cut out Informal To depart hastily.
  • cut out Chiefly Southern U.S. To turn off (a light or television set).
  • cut up Informal To behave in a playful, comic, or boisterous way; clown.
  • cut up Informal To criticize severely.
  • idiom cut a fat hog Texas To take on more than one is able to accomplish: "Boy, has he cut a fat hog, as they say down home” ( Hughes Rudd).
  • idiom cut a wide swath To make a big display; draw much attention.
  • idiom cut both ways To have both favorable and unfavorable results or implications.
  • idiom cut corners To do something in the easiest or most inexpensive way.
  • idiom cut down to size To deflate the self-importance of.
  • idiom cut it Informal To perform up to expectations or a required standard; be acceptable.
  • idiom cut loose To speak or act without restraint: cut loose with a string of curses.
  • idiom cut no ice To make no effect or impression: an objection that cut no ice with management.
  • idiom cut off (one's) nose to spite (one's) face To injure oneself in taking revenge against another.
  • idiom cut (one's) losses To withdraw from a losing situation.
  • idiom cut (one's) teeth on To learn or do as a beginner or at the start of one's career.
  • idiom cut short To stop before the end; abbreviate.
  • idiom cut the cheese Vulgar Slang To expel intestinal gas.
  • idiom cut the mustard To perform up to expectations or to a required standard.
  • idiom cut to the chase To get to the matter at hand.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having been cut.
  • adj. Reduced.
  • adj. Carved into a shape; not raw.
  • adj. this sense?) (cricket, of a shot) Played with a horizontal bat to hit the ball backward of point.
  • adj. Having muscular definition in which individual groups of muscle fibers stand out among larger muscles.
  • adj. Circumcised.
  • adj. Emotionally hurt.
  • adj. Eliminated from consideration during a recruitment drive.
  • adj. Removed from a team roster.
  • adj. drunk; tipsy
  • adj. Intoxicated as a result of drugs or alcohol.
  • n. An opening resulting from cutting.
  • n. The act of cutting.
  • n. The result of cutting.
  • n. A share or portion.
  • n. A batsman's shot played with a swinging motion of the bat, to hit the ball backward of point.
  • n. Sideways movement of the ball through the air caused by a fast bowler imparting spin to the ball.
  • n. The act or right of dividing a deck of playing cards.
  • n. The manner or style a garment is fashioned in.
  • n. A slab, especially of meat.
  • n. An attack made with a chopping motion of the blade, landing with its edge or point.
  • n. A deliberate snub, typically a refusal to return a bow or other acknowledgement of acquaintance.
  • n. A definable part, such as an individual song, of a recording, particularly of commercial records, audio tapes, CDs, etc.
  • n. A truncation, a context that represents a moment in time when other archaeological deposits were removed for the creation of some feature such as a ditch or pit.
  • n. A haircut.
  • n. the partition of a graph’s vertices into two subgroups
  • v. To perform an incision on, for example with a knife.
  • v. To divide with a knife, scissors, or another sharp instrument.
  • v. To separate from prior association; to remove a portion of a recording during editing.
  • v. To remove and place in memory for later use.
  • v. To enter a queue in the wrong place.
  • v. To cease recording activities.
  • v. To reduce, especially intentionally.
  • v. To form or shape by cutting.
  • v. To intersect or cross in such a way as to divide in half or nearly so.
  • v. To make the ball spin sideways by running one's fingers down the side of the ball while bowling it.
  • v. To not attend a class, especially when not permitted.
  • v. To change direction suddenly.
  • v. To divide a pack of playing cards into two
  • v. To write
  • v. To dilute a liquid, usually alcohol.
  • v. To ignore as a social snub.
  • v. To wound with a knife.
  • v. To exhibit (a quality).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Gashed or divided, as by a cutting instrument.
  • adj. Formed or shaped as by cutting; carved.
  • adj. Overcome by liquor; tipsy.
  • n. An opening made with an edged instrument; a cleft; a gash; a slash; a wound made by cutting.
  • n. A stroke or blow or cutting motion with an edged instrument; a stroke or blow with a whip.
  • n. That which wounds the feelings, as a harsh remark or criticism, or a sarcasm; personal discourtesy, as neglecting to recognize an acquaintance when meeting him; a slight.
  • n. A notch, passage, or channel made by cutting or digging; a furrow; a groove.
  • n. The surface left by a cut.
  • n. A portion severed or cut off; a division.
  • n. An engraved block or plate; the impression from such an engraving.
  • n.
  • n. The act of dividing a pack cards.
  • n. The right to divide; as, whose cut is it?
  • n. Manner in which a thing is cut or formed; shape; style; fashion.
  • n. A common work horse; a gelding.
  • n. The failure of a college officer or student to be present at any appointed exercise.
  • n. A skein of yarn.
  • n. A slanting stroke causing the ball to spin and bound irregularly; also, the spin so given to the ball.
  • n. A stroke on the off side between point and the wicket; also, one who plays this stroke.
  • intransitive v. To do the work of an edged tool; to serve in dividing or gashing.
  • intransitive v. To admit of incision or severance; to yield to a cutting instrument.
  • intransitive v. To perform the operation of dividing, severing, incising, intersecting, etc.; to use a cutting instrument.
  • intransitive v. To make a stroke with a whip.
  • intransitive v. To interfere, as a horse.
  • intransitive v. To move or make off quickly.
  • intransitive v. To divide a pack of cards into two portion to decide the deal or trump, or to change the order of the cards to be dealt.
  • transitive v. To separate the parts of with, or as with, a sharp instrument; to make an incision in; to gash; to sever; to divide.
  • transitive v. To sever and cause to fall for the purpose of gathering; to hew; to mow or reap.
  • transitive v. To sever and remove by cutting; to cut off; to dock.
  • transitive v. To castrate or geld.
  • transitive v. To form or shape by cutting; to make by incision, hewing, etc.; to carve; to hew out.
  • transitive v. To wound or hurt deeply the sensibilities of; to pierce; to lacerate.
  • transitive v. To intersect; to cross.
  • transitive v. To refuse to recognize; to ignore.
  • transitive v. To absent one's self from. etc.
  • transitive v. To deflect (a bowled ball) to the off, with a chopping movement of the bat.
  • transitive v. To drive (an object ball) to either side by hitting it fine on the other side with the cue ball or another object ball.
  • transitive v. To strike (a ball) with the racket inclined or struck across the ball so as to put a certain spin on the ball.
  • transitive v. To drive (a ball) to one side by hitting with another ball.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make, with an edged tool or instrument, an incision in; wound with something having a sharp edge; incise: as, to cut one's finger.


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").


  • 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

  • "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

  • 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

  • "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

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Newton Forster The Merchant Service

  • 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

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

  • Pharmaceuticals Corp cuts 40 pct of jobs www. Advanced Energy to cut 22 pct jobs www. Dell cutting jobs in North Carolina, Texas •Dell Inc, the world's No. 2 maker of personal computers, •cut 11000 jobs last fiscal year, www. California Teachers - Business News


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  • 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

  • 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

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

    June 12, 2008

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

    February 20, 2007

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

    January 27, 2007