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cut Syllabification: cut

Definition of cut in English:

verb (cuts, cutting; past and past participle cut)

[with object]
1Make an opening, incision, or wound in (something) with a sharp-edged tool or object: he cut his big toe on a sharp stone he cut open MacKay’s face with the end of his hockey stick [no object]: figurative his scorn cut deeper than knives
More example sentences
  • It was when I pulled my hand away when I realized that the ring on his finger had cut my skin and it was now bleeding.
  • He threw a knife and cut a man's ear and cheek with it.
  • During a big home repair job - well, really just changing a light switch - I accidentally cut myself.
gash, slash, lacerate, sever, slit, pierce, penetrate, wound, injure;
scratch, graze, nick, incise, score;
1.1 [no object] Make an incision in one’s own flesh, as a symptom of emotional distress: she’s been cutting every day after school for months [with object]: they cut themselves in a sad attempt to release the pain
More example sentences
  • I talked to the counselor and she told me other ways to get rid of my anger and pain. She also had to tell my parents I was cutting.
  • People who cut tend to cut more and deeper unless they get help to deal with the stresses that drive them to hurt themselves.
  • One day last year he found out that I'd been cutting, and that I wanted to kill myself.
2Remove (something) from something larger by using a sharp implement: I cut his photograph out of the paper some prisoners had their right hands cut off
More example sentences
  • We decided to use cutting equipment to cut away the section of the fence that had pierced him so he could be taken to hospital.
  • McKeon's natural stone is cut from limestone beds laid down 250 million years ago.
  • Blocks of ice were cut from ponds and lakes on the estate and stacked between layers of straw.
pick, pluck, gather
literary cull
2.1 informal Castrate (an animal, especially a horse).
Example sentences
  • Whether cutting cattle or breaking horses, Adam was undoubtedly the best on the Ponderosa.
  • For more than 50 years, raising, training, cutting and showing horses has been a way of life for him.
  • At two, many stallions are gentle (I had one I kept until he was 5 then had him cut).
2.2Remove the foreskin of a penis; circumcise.
Example sentences
  • Some boys have a circumcision, which means that a doctor or clergy member cuts away the foreskin.
  • The proper standard of care in this situation is to minimize and repair the injury, not make it worse by cutting off the foreskin and creating a larger and more painful surgical wound.
  • No anesthesia was used to numb the pain as the baby was cut.
2.3 (cut something out) Make something by cutting: I cut out some squares of paper
More example sentences
  • Draw a 4-inch square on the piece of paper, and cut it out.
  • The back panel was easier, since I will be making an acrylic motherboard tray with a square back panel, I just cut it out with my jigsaw.
  • Finally, the individual leaves would be cut out and then ready to hang from the classroom lights, or be displayed on the classroom windows.
2.4 (cut something out) Remove, exclude, or stop eating or doing something undesirable: start today by cutting out fatty foods
More example sentences
  • Why, you try cutting them out, stop eating them, avoiding temptation.
  • Cut down on sodium the week before, then cut it out entirely the last three days before the shoot.
  • The usual migraine triggers were cut out from Harriet's diet: chocolate, cheese, orange juice: but to no avail, says Nicky.
2.5 (cut something out) North American Separate an animal from the main herd.
Example sentences
  • Sneaking up on a huge animal, and cutting it out of a herd was always treacherous business.
  • Just as Diego almost cut the cow out of the herd it lashed out kicking furiously and howling.
  • I had been grinning all morning, especially when Mesa and I succeeded in cutting some difficult cows from the herd.
3Divide into pieces with a knife or other sharp implement: cut the beef into thin slices he cut his food up into teeny pieces
More example sentences
  • It's too bad Sara had made Salad for supper because the carrots had to be cut with a knife.
  • At more than six feet tall and weighing in at over 600 pounds, her cake had to be cut with a knife that was a foot and a half long.
  • Matthias chuckles, then takes a knife, and cuts himself some bread.
chop, cut up, slice, dice, cube, mince;
3.1Make divisions in (something): land that has been cut up by streams into forested areas
More example sentences
  • Lafayette street was added years later after the land had been cut up and sold to developers.
  • Heaps of snow had been cut up by vehicles into mushy mud.
  • Even Ethiopia, situated on a high plateau, which was cut up by mountains and vast canyons that made internal travel difficult, was accessible only from an exceptionally hot and unpleasant desert coast.
3.2Separate (something) into two; sever: they cut the rope before he choked
More example sentences
  • That is rewriting history, and cutting your anchor rope, and should be resisted.
  • Some were lost through storms or when their marking float lines were cut by boat props or otherwise severed.
  • An inline fuel separator is installed by cutting the vent hose that runs from the fuel tank to the tank vent on the outside of the boat.
3.3 (cut something down) Make something, especially a tree, fall by cutting it through at the base.
Example sentences
  • So you're saying someone purposely cut this tree down to fall on me, then ran away just a few minutes ago?
  • Whenever a massive sequoia tree or branch threatened to fall on a structure, the tree was cut down.
  • He told the hearing that between 50-100 oak trees on his land would be cut down because of the Bypass project.
3.4 (cut someone down) (Of a weapon, bullet, or disease) kill or injure someone: Barker had been cut down by a sniper’s bullet
More example sentences
  • The woman, whose 17-year-old daughter was cut down by four 9mm bullets fired from a sub-machine gun, also called for an end to the violence associated with gang culture.
  • Just as this associate is about to divulge more, a hail of bullets cuts him down, cutting short the protagonist's convalescence and paving the way for another narrative-driven, gunplay-heavy escapade.
  • If your attempt fails, the enemy will use the weapon he carries to cut you down.
4Make or form (something) by using a sharp tool to remove material: workmen cut a hole in the pipe
More example sentences
  • Eventually, firefighters cut a hole in the main floor to gain access.
  • He looked around, and cut a hole in the corner of the bag with his knife.
  • We proceeded to cut a hole in the fence and climb through.
4.1Make or design (a garment) in a particular way: (as adjective cut) an impeccably cut chalk-stripe suit
More example sentences
  • I had a low cut polo shirt along with a denim mini skirt and silver pumps.
  • Sara struggled into tight jeans and a low cut shirt that was also too tight.
  • He also knows how to cut a killer coat, while still remaining true to his vision.
4.2Make (a path, tunnel, or other route) by excavation, digging, or chopping: plans to cut a road through a rain forest [no object]: investigators called for a machete to cut through the bush figurative a large woman with a voice that cut through crowds
More example sentences
  • A new road had been cut through the quarry wall to a tidy waterside quay.
  • He had found the path, cut through the forest, followed the trail of pebbles and watched the signs leading to nowhere.
  • They followed riverbeds and paths cut through the mountainous terrain for the Indonesian army.
5Trim or reduce the length of (something, especially grass or a person’s hair or fingernails) by using a sharp implement: cutting the lawn cut back all the year’s growth to about four leaves
More example sentences
  • Who cuts their grass or trims their hedge in winter?
  • Her makeup was sensible, and her wheat blond hair was cut very fashionably.
  • She had a good figure, and her light brown hair was cut about neck length, the style in the area.
6Reduce the amount or quantity of: buyers will bargain hard to cut the cost of the house they want I should cut down my sugar intake [no object]: they’ve cut back on costs the state passed a law to cut down on drunk-driving the paper glut cuts into profits
More example sentences
  • At the moment she is preparing for her tough task by cutting down on the amount of tea she drinks.
  • First, it cuts down on the amount of free time kids spend without supervision.
  • But with nobody coming forward to take over the business, the only way forward seemed to be cutting the opening hours.
reduce, cut back/down on, decrease, lessen, retrench, trim, slim down;
rationalize, downsize, lower, slash, chop
economize, downsize, pull/draw in one's horns, tighten one's belt, slim down, scale down;
(cut back on)cut, cut down, decrease, lessen, retrench, reduce, trim
informal slash
6.1Abridge (a text, movie, or performance) by removing material: he had to cut unnecessary additions made to the opening scene
More example sentences
  • Scenes with a mechanical shark had to be cut, because it did not look believable enough.
  • You lot do know that one of the key scenes was cut from the theatrical release, right?
  • These excerpts were ultimately cut from the final script.
bowdlerize, expurgate
delete, remove, take out, excise, blue-pencil, chop
6.2 Computing Delete (part of a text or other display) completely or so as to insert a copy of it elsewhere. See also cut and paste.
Example sentences
  • Better yet, any automation pattern can be cut, copied and pasted to any other clip or parameter.
  • Pressing the cut or copy button will allow you to cut or copy any highlighted text or image.
  • There are stage-by-stage file copies too, so cutting and pasting from the next stage of the process into your working file makes things a lot simpler.
6.3(In sports) remove (a player) from a team’s roster.
Example sentences
  • Players quit too late for teams to react, and teams cut players too late to find other jobs.
  • Forcing all parties to wait until the month before training camps open doesn't help the team cutting the player, the player or the teams wanting to sign the player.
  • In fact, the team considered cutting Northcutt during last offseason.
6.4End or interrupt the provision of (something, especially power or food supplies): we resolved to cut oil supplies to territories controlled by the rebels if the pump develops a fault, the electrical supply is immediately cut off
More example sentences
  • It was used by Hitler during World War II when Germany had most of its oil supplies cut.
  • Libya has also supported British policy, cutting off oil supplies to the beleaguered regime.
  • They would react by cutting off oil supplies to the West.
6.5 (cut something off) Block the usual means of access to a place: the caves were cut off from the outside world by a landslide
More example sentences
  • There are only a handful of Canadian waters closed to navigation by the Canadian Coast Guard, and one of those is Niagara Falls, Williams said, pointing out that it is mainly for public safety reasons that access is cut off.
  • Ask the wrong question or write something the White House doesn't like, and your access is cut off.
  • In addition to the ecological damage, all traffic to and from the ports have been blocked, essentially cutting the big apple off from the rest of the world.
6.6North American Absent oneself deliberately from (something one should normally attend, especially school): Robert was cutting class
More example sentences
  • Girls showed up for the photography workshop without fail, even when they cut school.
  • One problem is that after cutting class, the teenager faces powerful temptations to misbehave.
  • I got in trouble for cutting school, staying out late, lying about detention and lying about homework.
6.7Switch off (an engine or a light).
Example sentences
  • Finally, he cut the two remaining engines, and they rolled silently to a stop.
  • After about 10 minutes, we would gather at the stern, the engines would be cut and the service would commence.
  • He was sixth for a long time, but lost the place after accidentally cutting off the engine whilst trying to de-mist his windscreen.
7(Of a line) cross or intersect (another line): the point where the line cuts the vertical axis
More example sentences
  • The line cuts the horizontal axis at 11.4.
  • This line cuts the vertical axis below the horizontal axis.
cross, intersect, bisect;
meet, join
7.1 [no object] (cut across) Pass or traverse, especially so as to shorten one’s route: the following aircraft cut across to join him
More example sentences
  • To calm myself, I'd taken the scenic route and cut across the park to reach school.
  • They stayed away from the trail, cutting across country, following animal tracks where they could to avoid unseen obstacles.
  • Instead of going up to the front gate with the throng, we cut across and joined up with the other guards coming on duty with the brass band.
7.2 [no object] (cut across) Have an effect regardless of (divisions or boundaries between groups): subcultures that cut across national and political boundaries
More example sentences
  • The challenge is to find global solutions for a problem that cuts across national boundaries, cultures, societies and socio - economic strata.
  • Many organisations will have soft power of their own as they attract citizens into coalitions that cut across national boundaries.
  • That this same complaint is made by legions of girls in small towns and suburbs across America is just one of the reasons this film cuts across national and cultural boundaries so well.
7.3 [no object] (cut along) informal dated Leave or move hurriedly: you can cut along now
More example sentences
  • Cut along now. There's no time to lose.
  • ‘Cut along now to bed,’ he added gruffly; ‘we'll have to be up like larks to-morrow.’
  • I think we better be cutting along because we gotta be in Chicago by tomorrow night.
8 dated Ignore or refuse to recognize (someone).
Example sentences
  • He simply walked on by, cutting me as dead as a doornail, and shot into his house.
  • She heard me say that Britain should withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights and, since then, has cut me completely.
  • I can't believe you cut me like that!
9 [no object, often in imperative] Stop filming or recording.
Example sentences
  • Jon will say his line and we'll cut there. You ready? Let's get in position.
  • The actor waits - in vain - for his director to call out ‘Cut!’
  • As soon as I recovered from my shock, I yelled ‘Cut!’ and rushed up to Ria and Erwin.
9.1Move to another shot in a movie: cut to a dentist’s surgery
More example sentences
  • For example, if a character is tracking the inward flight of an asteroid on a radar screen, we cut to a shot of the radar screen.
  • Then, in a remarkable shot, we cut to her point of view of Ray sitting in the driver's seat.
  • I really hadn't been paying attention to the news, until they cut to a shot from the news chopper.
9.2 [with object] Make (a movie) into a coherent whole by removing parts or placing them in a different order.
Example sentences
  • As we speak he is cutting his 18th feature film.
  • Frankly, when I was cutting the movie, it was so great to be able to cut from good fun stuff with Eva and Will and then jump to scenes with Kevin and Will.
  • They cut all these pieces together and made it look like a big orgy.
10Make (a sound recording).
Example sentences
  • Many singers and music directors are being roped in to cut the albums for political parties and potential candidates.
  • From what I’ve been able to dig up Turner cut the album in his home studio.
  • The performers posed for a photocall after cutting the single.
11Divide (a pack of playing cards) by lifting a portion from the top, either to reveal or draw a card at random or to place the top portion under the bottom portion.
Example sentences
  • The pack is shuffled and cut and 16 cards each are dealt singly as before.
  • Players cut for the deal, and whoever cuts the highest card becomes the first dealer.
  • The cards are shuffled, cut, and dealt, usually three at a time, but this is not imperative.
12 Golf Slice (the ball).
Example sentences
  • Under pressure I never hook. I am more prone to cut the ball, if anything.
  • You might end up slicing and cutting the ball all over the place.
  • After the 8th hole, Barney is ahead by 1 stroke, but cuts his ball into the rough on the 9th.
13Adulterate (a drug) or dilute (alcohol) by mixing it with another substance: speed cut with rat poison
More example sentences
  • He says drugs are sometimes cut with other substances like talcum powder and the bag could simply have been mislabelled.
  • It was speculated that this novice dealer was cutting the cocaine he sold with amphetamine due to his existing belief that that is what he was supposed to do.
  • They do this by cutting the drugs with other powders, showing no respect for the people who take the drug.
14 (cut it) North American informal Come up to expectations; meet requirements: this CD player doesn’t quite cut it
[Shortened form of the idiom cut the mustard]
More example sentences
  • Talking with Kate the other week, I was saying I needed to get a mirror as the glass doors on my pantry weren't quite cutting it.
  • For years Leeds were the team who didn't quite cut it against the key rivals, Wigan and Bradford.
  • Unfortunately for him, he'll never know if he is made of the stuff required to cut it living offshore.


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1An act of cutting, in particular.
1.1 [in singular] A haircut: his hair was in need of a cut
More example sentences
  • I was first introduced to Reiki some eight years ago, sitting in the hairdressers having a cut and blow dry.
  • A cut, shampoo and set would take about an hour, and a perm would take two hours.
  • I went along to the spacious Studio in Edinburgh for a cut and colour to find out.
1.2A stroke or blow given by a sharp-edged implement or by a whip or cane: he could skin an animal with a single cut of the knife
More example sentences
  • And people joked about it, used to add up how many cuts of the cane they got as a mark of honour and so on, but I was scared.
  • The log books show that in those days impertinence was punished by one or two cuts with the cane - or a slap with an open hand.
  • Often the horse does his work with panting sides and trembling knees, and not seldom gets a cut of the whip from his rider.
blow, slash, stroke
1.3A wounding remark or act: his unkindest cut at Elizabeth was to call her heartless
More example sentences
  • Sarah was his friend and being unable to help her was the most cruel cut of all.
  • It is true to say that Palace conspired in their own downfall, but it was nevertheless a cruel cut for their coach after he had briefly picked up the scent of his side's first win since their return to the top flight.
1.4A reduction in amount or size: she took a 20% pay cut a cut in interest rates
More example sentences
  • The law ordered striking hospital employees back to work with a 15 per cent pay cut.
  • Soaring debt - which at one stage was predicted to reach £11m - has led to a series of cuts ranging from ward closures to stopping snacks for patients.
  • For a health care system already on life support due to extreme budget cuts, the extraction of $500,000,000 dollars would be the death knell.
1.5(In sports) a removal of a player from a team’s roster.
Example sentences
  • This is for younger guys on the team and minor leaguers who are on the roster but will be sent down at the first cut.
  • The team probably will wait until teams make their final roster cuts before making a move.
  • Each team has one, and he'll do his dirty work as teams make their final roster cuts Sunday, from 65 players to 53.
1.6An act of removing part of a play, movie, or book, especially to shorten the work or to delete offensive material: they would not publish the book unless the author was willing to make cuts
More example sentences
  • Since then, they have reached a compromise, wherein the director agreed to make cuts but was allowed several days of reshoots to make the flow to his satisfaction.
  • This is also down to the editing style of Walter Murch who prefers to only make cuts when absolutely necessary.
  • After the film has been edited and completed for release in India it has to go through the censor board, where they can also make cuts.
1.7An immediate transition from one scene to another in a movie.
Example sentences
  • Jewison allows the actors to set the tone through long takes rather than forcing the scene through rapid cuts.
  • Harris' use of unconventional camera angles and quick cuts invigorates these scenes.
  • There aren't many cuts - often a scene will take place before us in one shot, with the camera serenely gliding from one side of a room to the other.
1.8 Golf The halfway point of a golf tournament, where half of the players are eliminated.
Example sentences
  • He didn't have a top 30 finish in any of the four last season and he missed the halfway cut at the Masters last month.
  • Although none of them feature on the leaderboard, it was a productive day for eight of the nine Scots who made the halfway cut.
  • Since making several radical changes to clubs and his mental preparation, he has barely missed a tournament cut.
1.9 Tennis A stroke made with a sharp horizontal or downward action of the racket, imparting spin.
Example sentences
  • He played some elegant straight bat drives, and he also played some beautiful horizontal bat cuts.
  • Martin seemed in more trouble when he dropped short and Gilchrist aimed a cut.
  • They adapted to the variable bounce, and then launched into the bowlers in a flurry of cuts, sweeps, drives and lofts over the infield.
2A result of cutting something, in particular.
2.1A long narrow incision in the skin made by something sharp.
Example sentences
  • Scars on the skin appear when a cut or other injury is healing.
  • In her terror, the woman instinctively put her hand up to protect her neck and suffered a cut from the blade.
  • Vitamin B9 assists the body in forming red blood cells, and vitamin C promotes healthy skin and allows our cuts and scrapes to heal quickly.
2.2A long narrow opening or incision made in a surface or piece of material: make a single cut along the top of each potato
More example sentences
  • This causes the dough to expand rapidly, the cuts on top opening to give the leaf-shaped scars typical of these loaves.
  • Score the surface with shallow cuts to makes six or eight wedges each.
  • Also, if cuts are present in the tyre wall, the tyre can be weakened, making it dangerous.
2.3A piece of meat cut from a carcass: a good lean cut of beef
More example sentences
  • For example, add lean cuts of red meat or dark poultry to your meals on a regular basis.
  • There is even a full-time butcher, preparing the cuts of meat from carcass.
  • If you've got the time, foods such as eggs, poultry, fish, and lean cuts of red meat are excellent sources of complete protein.
piece, section
2.4 [in singular] informal A share of the profits from something: the directors are demanding their cut
More example sentences
  • More likely they'd drive me to the recycling center to cash in my cans, and then demand a cut of the profit.
  • When Kev and Mike come bearing gifts, they want to flog them down their local, promising the barmaid a cut of the profits.
  • The stars also get a cut of the profits from the show being re-sold and from the sale of videos and DVDs.
informal slice, piece of the pie, piece of the action
2.5A recording of a piece of music: a cut from his forthcoming album
More example sentences
  • You've mentioned that recording the band's cuts was a stop and start process.
  • Soul Jazz operates both as a label and a retail outlet, sourcing rare reggae and funk cuts and pressing them up on a series of acclaimed albums.
  • This being a tribute record, all the cuts don't work.
2.6A version of a movie after editing: the director’s cut
More example sentences
  • Get the extended director's cut with original German dialogue, if you can.
  • The director's cut of the film, on the other hand, leaves little room for laughter.
  • And all that's left is an early director's cut of a promising movie that desperately needs editing.
2.7A passage cut or dug out, as a railroad cutting or a new channel made for a river or other waterway.
Example sentences
  • I had assumed that the Broads would be broad - so was unprepared for far too many of the cuts, dykes and rivers having the dimensions and floorplan of supermarket aisles.
  • The aqueduct begins at Chadwell Spring, near Ware in Hertfordshire, and is soon joined by a cut from the River Lea.
  • Operations in the 1940s consisted of a large open pit with smaller cuts and several tunnels.
2.8A woodcut.
Example sentences
  • The work consists of forty leaves, of a small folio size, each leaf containing a cut in wood.
3 [in singular] The way or style in which something, especially a garment or someone’s hair, is cut: the elegant cut of his dinner jacket
More example sentences
  • Louise designs the cut and style and Rita weaves her hue magic to create movement and pizazz.
  • The secret to fab hair is in the cut, not the containers of setting gunk!
  • All I see is his broad back encased in an expensive black suit, and the elegant cut of his dark hair.
style, design;
tailoring, lines, fit


Middle English (probably existing, although not recorded, in Old English); probably of Germanic origin and related to Norwegian kutte and Icelandic kuta 'cut with a small knife', kuti 'small blunt knife'.

  • There is evidence for the verb cut from the end of the 13th century. It may well have existed before that in Old English, but there are no written examples to prove it. You say something is cut and dried when it is completely settled or decided. There used to be a distinction between the cut and dried herbs sold in herbalists' shops and those that had been freshly gathered. The cut of someone's jib is their appearance or expression. A jib is a triangular sail set forward of the mast on a sailing ship or boat. Its proportions were variable and the characteristic shape of a particular jib helped to identify a ship. Hence the term came to be applied to the impression given by a person's appearance. Something cuts the mustard when it comes up to expectations or meets the required standard. In early 20th-century US slang mustard had the meaning ‘the best of anything’. Cut to the chase, meaning ‘come to the point’, comes from film-making. The idea is of moving straight to the most exciting part.


be cut out for (or to be)

[usually with negative] informal Have exactly the right qualities for a particular role, task, or job: I’m just not cut out to be a policeman
More example sentences
  • Here was proof that blackmail was not something I was cut out for.
  • But not everyone is cut out for that - I certainly am not.
  • I think that insofar as I am a poet, I was cut out to be a poet who needed a lot of time to get started.

a cut above

informal Noticeably superior to: she’s a cut above the rest
More example sentences
  • Against all the evidence, the English still believe themselves a superior race, a cut above the rest of us.
  • England and France, maybe even Wales, are a cut above that.
  • They were dominant literally throughout the field and on the day genuinely looked a cut above all others in the county right now.

cut and dried

Pronunciation: /ˌkət ən ˈdrīd/
[often with negative] (Of a situation) completely settled or decided: the championship is not as cut and dried as everyone thinks
[ Early 18th century: originally used to distinguish the herbs of herbalists' shops from growing herbs]
More example sentences
  • Firstly, it is a new day, the IPCC is a reality today, but I am not sure where opinions are being formed; please accept from us that we have received no firm, cut and dried, clearcut proposals in respect of any change.
  • We are up at Workington next which is going to be a real tough game so it's definitely not cut and dried at the moment.
  • He went on say that where bonus schemes were cut and dried and that was not fair, the situation should be looked at, and that drew more scattered applause.
definite, decided, settled, explicit, specific, precise, unambiguous, clear-cut, unequivocal, black and white, hard and fast

cut and run

informal Make a speedy or sudden departure from an awkward or hazardous situation rather than deal with it.
[Originally a nautical phrase, meaning 'cut the anchor cable because of some emergency and make sail immediately']
Example sentences
  • But rather than cut and run, what we really need to do is to stay put and reach out.
  • I think if we pull, cut and run today, it's going to be chaos and a civil war.
  • I was ready to cut and run when the tapping on my car window told me it was already too late… he was there.

cut and thrust

Pronunciation: /ˌkəd ən ˈTHrəst/
Fencing The use of both the edge and the point of one’s sword while fighting.
Example sentences
  • Example; He tells us to parry with the flat of the sword in his cut and thrust section.
  • Metal fashioned into swords was found to be handy in the cut and thrust of combat - if the victim did not die from the puncturing of vital organs, septicemia would do the rest - but metal could also be used as protection.
5.1A spirited and rapid interchange of views: the cut and thrust of political debate
More example sentences
  • It's a different matter being able to cope with the cut and thrust of lively House of Commons debate and Prime Minister's Questions - situations in which he has shown little credibility.
  • With the above scoreline there for all to see it is hard to pick out those isolated incidents when the visitors displayed the skills required to survive and thrive in the cut and thrust of this competitive league.
  • I love the fast moving aspect of the marketing business and the competitive cut and thrust of winning new accounts.
5.1A situation or sphere of activity regarded as carried out under adversarial conditions: the ruthless cut and thrust of the business world
More example sentences
  • These qualities are clearly vital when it comes to the cut and thrust of a life-threatening situation.
  • Ah yes, winning, something of which Woosnam has done his share in Ryder Cup play, although not, strangely for one so suited to the cut and thrust of head-to-head combat, in any of his eight singles matches.
  • He loves the cut and thrust, the passion and the no-holds-barred aspect to the contest but he knows that what happens on the pitch often boils over into the stands and onto the streets.

cut both ways

(Of a point or statement) serve both sides of an argument.
Example sentences
  • Interestingly, the preferred arguments of both sides can cut both ways.
  • The argument cuts both ways - but not according to the RIAA?
  • This cuts both ways: new arguments are never by themselves decisive; but, equally, old presumptions can always be challenged.
6.1(Of an action or process) have both good and bad effects: the triumphs of civilization cut both ways
More example sentences
  • But as recent American sanctions on imported steel from Brazil and Asia indicate, the process does not cut both ways.
  • It is important to emphasize that this suggestion that the quality of the political decision-making process may help the Court's judgement cuts both ways.
  • Ministerial responsibility cuts both ways - a Minister can stand around and take credit and accept kudos for the good things that happen on their watch - ideally as a result of their own decisions and actions.

cut the corner

Take the shortest course by going across and not around a corner.
Example sentences
  • Engineers and boffins have been trying to negotiate traffic flow at intersections for a hundred years - traffic lights, give way signs, those metal axle breakers that stop you from cutting the corner if you see it in time.
  • The built-out kerb encourages downhill vehicles towards the middle of the road, and sooner or later that will coincide with a vehicle in the opposite direction cutting the corner.
  • ‘People are cutting the corner to avoid the cars parked right up to it,’ he said.

cut corners

Undertake something in what appears to be the easiest, quickest, or cheapest way, especially by omitting to do something important or ignoring rules.
Example sentences
  • His staff complains that he is cutting corners to save money by putting ordinary cream cheese in the tiramisu (an Italian dessert).
  • Is the employee rewarded for finding ways to save money by cutting corners?
  • If you try to save money up-front by cutting corners, it can end up costing you much more in the end.

cut the crap

[often in imperative] vulgar slang Get to the point; state the real situation.

cut someone dead

Completely ignore someone.
Example sentences
  • He figures she likes him too; she cuts him dead at school, ignoring him because she doesn't remember that he confessed to liking her.
  • But, let's be honest, when someone cuts you dead for no good reason and then they up and die shortly afterwards, suddenly and without warning, your immediate response to the news is liable to be, well, shall we say, underwhelming?
  • A number of his female stars complained that once the cameras stopped rolling he seemed to cut them dead, so much so that they were mystified when he subsequently offered them another film role.

cut a deal

North American informal Come to an arrangement, especially in business; make a deal.
Example sentences
  • It's a really blatant case of government cutting a deal for big business against the public interest.
  • And the father pleads guilty to a long sentence, purportedly to help his son, but without actually cutting a deal with prosecutors to help his son, for reasons that are obscure.
  • They fight over their share of the surplus rather than cutting a deal, precisely because they have future bargains in mind (with other parties too).

cut someone down to size

informal Deflate someone’s exaggerated sense of self-worth.
Example sentences
  • We have to cut you down to size, expose your tricks, purge you.
  • It was down to three and the two short stack players weren't long in cutting Gary down to size as his inexperience showed as he let a massive chip lead erode away and eventually disappear all-together.
  • Some people can be twisted and awful and will do anything to cut you down to size because of their own insecurities and their own issues.

cut something down to size

Reduce the size or power of something, for example an organization, that is regarded as having become too large or powerful.
Example sentences
  • The roots of France's secularism lie in the struggle against the overweening power of the Catholic church: how to cut it down to size and assert the primacy - and neutrality - of the state.
  • That means cutting the debt mountain down to size.
  • The work of the Scottish parliament was always going to be a tough sell in screaming headlines, but the syllabically challenged tabloids did their best by promptly cutting this new institution down to size.

cut a —— figure

Present oneself or appear in a particular way: David has cut a dashing figure on the international social scene
More example sentences
  • The bride is beautiful in her white dress, the groom cuts a dashing figure in his tuxedo, most everybody else looks quite fancy.
  • Dressed in a spectacular brown, black and yellow Paisley patterned shirt, Mandela cut a dashing figure next to Sophie who chose a stylish powder-blue dress with low-heeled brown court shoes.
  • Tall, blond and muscular, he cut a dashing figure and was nicknamed ‘Doc’ because of his striking resemblance to the pulp magazine hero Doc Savage.

cut from the same cloth

Of the same nature; similar: don’t assume all women are cut from the same cloth
More example sentences
  • We are cut from the same cloth and while historically we haven't been branded as equals, that known gap between us is closing.
  • Progressive taxation is not cut from the same cloth as those forms of collective action that raise the standards of wealth and happiness for all, which is what the state tries to do by supplying certain standard public
  • The Trust Me formula is basically cut from the same cloth as Big Brother - it's a psychological test which places greater emphasis on one's cunning ability to play the system than a passion for general knowledge.

cut in line

North American Push into a line of people in order to be served or dealt with before one’s turn.
Example sentences
  • We assume our next guest won't be cutting in line either.
  • Because they were sweet little old ladies, neither me nor the other lady said anything to them about cutting in line.
  • Right now, you might want to be careful about cutting in line in front of a middle-aged woman.

cut it fine

see fine1.

cut it out

[usually in imperative] informal Used to ask someone to stop doing or saying something that is annoying or offensive: I’m sick of that joke; cut it out, can’t you?

cut loose

Distance oneself from a person, group, or system by which one is unduly influenced or on which one is overdependent: they cut loose from from the factory and started their own
More example sentences
  • With contemporary credit systems cut loose from both traditional inherent constraints and central bank controls, the analytical focus changes.
  • In the attic, he sits on the floor, leaning into the blue light from his laptop and reads the first chapter out loud, a magical, surreal, poetic story, crammed with detail and cut loose from traditional boring fiction.
  • But no other team looks poised to run away with the title, unlike last season when Hartlepool and Rushden raced clear, and the campaign before when Plymouth and Luton cut loose from the chasing pack.
19.1Act without restraint: consumers want to cut loose and have secret bacchanals
More example sentences
  • Your writer had a great time, attempting to show suitable restraint at lunch but then cutting loose a bit more at dinner.
  • Carreras really cut loose in this repertoire; Heppner is more restrained, and that's valid too, albeit not as exciting.
  • But major travel, that's cutting loose, letting go of all which is familiar and severing links with those fragile concepts of self, personal history, attachments and stability.

cut someone/something loose (or free)

Free someone or something from something that holds or restricts them: he’d cut loose the horses
More example sentences
  • A team of divers arrived early Tuesday morning and was able to cut the boat free.
  • The female driver managed to get out before emergency services arrived and fire crews cut one man free.
  • These extraordinary photos show a humpback whale 'celebrating' after another female was cut free from stray ropes attached to old lobster pots.

cut one's losses

Abandon an enterprise or course of action that is clearly going to be unprofitable or unsuccessful before one suffers too much loss or harm.
Example sentences
  • They simply cannot learn to cut their losses, abandon issues they can't win, and get on with it.
  • Now my parents have had their share of stormy weather and I know that at times they have both wanted to abandon ship, cut their losses and move on but they stuck with it as they promised each other they would do the day they married.
  • Still, if the space station is in such bad shape - much costlier than planned, much later than planned, much smaller than planned - why shouldn't we just cut our losses and abandon it now?

cut the mustard

informal Come up to expectations; reach the required standard: I didn’t cut the mustard as a hockey player
More example sentences
  • It seems pastel-coloured headlines about the perfect cheesecake no longer cut the mustard, and that ‘homemakers’ are better catered to by other publications.
  • Although she believes its cutting the mustard with fewer and fewer in a media that increasingly feels it's been fed one too many ‘historic’ lines by the party.
  • Please allow us some period of adjustment and development, and then, if we are not cutting the mustard, fine, you can dole out pelters.

cut no ice

informal Have no influence or effect: your holier-than-thou attitude cuts no ice with me
More example sentences
  • The comment was made repeatedly how highly the existing staff were thought of but, unfortunately, this cuts no ice with the Post Office bosses who are determined to pursue the sell-off.
  • Reason cuts no ice; economic theory is dismissed; and contrary evidence is ignored.
  • All this rubbish about human relationships cuts no ice with me.

cut someone off (or down) in their prime

Bring someone’s life or career to an abrupt end while they are at the peak of their abilities.

cut someone/something short

Interrupt someone or something; bring an abrupt or premature end to something said or done: Peter cut him short rudely
More example sentences
  • He began to tell me about whirling electrons and orthicon-tubes and other nonsense, but I cut him short with an abrupt wave.
  • They played every game they were asked, and their contracts were cut short.
  • My education was cut short by an unexpected interruption of life.
break off, shorten, truncate, curtail, terminate, end, stop, abort, bring to an untimely end

cut someone to pieces

Kill or severely injure someone.
Example sentences
  • Near this spot my friend Kaveh was cut to pieces and killed by a landmine.
  • ‘If it is fair for an Afghan to shoot down a British soldier and cut him to pieces as he lies wounded on the ground’, wrote one such officer, ‘why is it not fair for a British Artilleryman to fire a shell which makes the said native sneeze?’
  • Because even if they had been cut to pieces by American weaponry in the first seconds of the combat, as they were, you don't want to look like you're eager for war and bloodshed.
26.1Totally defeat someone.
Example sentences
  • It cuts him to pieces and I know he would love to swap places with me.
  • Do not play games with me, lovely, for my ferocious wit and cunning is sure to cut you to pieces!
  • If you play carelessly or without respect the open lines and quick development that White gets for his pawn will cut you to pieces.

cut a (or the) rug

North American informal Dance, typically in an energetic or accomplished way: you can cut a rug when dance bands and singers take to the stage
More example sentences
  • If Michelle Eves asks you to dance then you'd better be ready to cut the rug with all your best moves.
  • Bernice does a good job cutting the rug, despite the terrible band.
  • To cut the rug with our kids - or our spouse while kids watch and laugh - is to send a message of love and trust no words can convey.

cut one's teeth

Acquire initial practice or experience of a particular sphere of activity or with a particular organization: the brothers cut their professional teeth at Lusardi’s before starting their own restaurant
More example sentences
  • Often from an executive point of view you haven't really cut your teeth until you have experienced it.
  • They want people with a few years' experience who have cut their teeth in a commercial environment and received ongoing training and development from another employer.
  • This is how they cut their teeth, why they were initially hailed as the ‘saviours of rock,’ and while they will always have people leave their shows in complete and utter awe.

cut a tooth

(Usually of a baby or child) have a tooth appear through the gum.
Example sentences
  • In further breaking news, he cut a tooth last night.
  • If your baby has cut a tooth, or more than one tooth, you will need to begin cleaning that as well.
  • The last two nights have been worse, because he's cutting a tooth or two and has developed a cold.

cut to the chase

North American informal Come to the point: cut to the chase—what is it you want us to do?
[Cut in the sense 'move to another part of the movie', expressing the notion of ignoring any preliminaries]
More example sentences
  • In a way, I feel like this is cutting to the chase by recording the sounds the world is making in the first place.
  • King cut to the chase: ‘Would he be inclined to watch this program?’
  • I've suggested that we just cut to the chase here - a little sprinkle of water on her forehead, a couple bars hummed, turn out the lights, put her down, then pick her up.

cut your coat according to your cloth

proverb Undertake only what you have the money or ability to do and no more.
Example sentences
  • ‘We cut our coat according to our cloth,’ she says.
  • We have to cut our coat according to our cloth, we have to do the best we can with what we have got.
  • I had, due to the expense involved, to cut my coat according to my cloth and use from time to time what parts I could.

have one's work cut out

see work.

make the cut

Golf Equal or better a required score, thus avoiding elimination from the last two rounds of a four-round tournament.
Example sentences
  • ‘And the next day I went out and played the second round and almost made the cut,’ he grins.
  • The event's star attraction world number one Tiger Woods also made the cut, with a two round total of 143.
  • The Scotland World Cup player has now made the cut in his past 18 tournaments and is beginning to attain the air of a serious contender at every event in which he plays.

miss the cut

Golf Fail to equal or better a required score, thus being eliminated from the last two rounds of a four-round tournament.
Example sentences
  • The following year, in his second last tournament as an amateur, he missed the cut after rounds of 81 and 75.
  • She hits her first three tee shots out of bounds, lips out half her par putts, and shoots 82 for her first round, then backs that up with a 75 and misses the cut by a baker's dozen.
  • I had played only two tournaments on U.S. soil and missed the cut in both, which of course didn't get me much attention.

Phrasal verbs

cut in

1Interrupt someone while they are speaking: “It’s urgent,” Raoul cut in
More example sentences
  • I began reading off of the script, before she cut in.
  • Alison opened her mouth to begin explaining, but Lily cut in.
  • The other woman began to protest, but the girl cut in.
1.1 dated Interrupt a dancing couple to take over from one partner.
Example sentences
  • Isn't it customary to ask the person's dancing partner before cutting in?
  • He eventually came to his senses and cut in between my dancing partner and I.
  • During slow song number four a red-haired girl asked to cut in.
2Pull in too closely in front of another vehicle after having overtaken it: she cut in on a station wagon, forcing the driver to brake
More example sentences
  • Imagine cruising along at 200 km/h plus when a vehicle travelling at 160 cuts in front of you.
  • Half-listening, I braked as a decidedly more upmarket vehicle cut in front of the van, giving the driver the finger as he peeled off into the surge of traffic up ahead.
  • They became upset when the two military policemen who were riding a motorcycle ignored all the vehicles lined up for gas and cut in front of their car.
3(Of a motor or other mechanical device) begin operating, especially when triggered automatically by an electrical signal: emergency generators cut in
More example sentences
  • Nerves began cutting in and he shuffled his feet.
  • Moving back up the other side of the finger to about 15m, the fun began as the current cut in and we headed rapidly over a seascape of hard and soft coral outcrops.
  • So this morning, my high-speed Internet connection suddenly begins cutting in and out, mostly out.

cut someone in

informal Include someone in a deal and give them a share of the profits.
Example sentences
  • I'm guessing the real violation here was not cutting him in for his fair share of the action.
  • So, should anyone have any ingenious ideas, please let us know and we may, in our unsurpassed magnanimity, decide to cut you in on the deal.
  • We did think of offering to cut you in on the deal as well, but, well, you're already so damnably wealthy that any gains from out little scheme would hardly be worth your while.

cut into

Interrupt the course of: Victoria’s words cut into her thoughts
More example sentences
  • They cut into course tutor time and need costly equipment and materials to make them of value to the young people.
  • It must be the margaritas, but I think it also has something to do with cutting into Krum's writing time.
  • I'll probably take it again someday, but not when it is cutting into my walking and socializing time.

cut someone off

Interrupt someone while they are speaking.
Example sentences
  • And I will be insufferable here and cut you off, take a break.
  • ‘Wait a minute,’ Matt cut her off, sounding serious now.
  • The question that I would raise, and I've got to cut you off because we need to get a break, is how much the media should go along with it.
4.1Interrupt someone during a telephone call by breaking the connection: I listened to prerecorded messages for twenty-three minutes before being cut off
More example sentences
  • After three minutes with the automated operator the Yorkshire Post was cut off at 11.17 am yesterday with the message: ‘I'm sorry our operators are busy.’
  • Now, I am anxious not to cut you off, but from time to time I may interrupt you to try to make sure that I grasp the point that you are advancing and, in effect, play it back to you to make sure that I understand what you are trying to tell me.
  • The machine cut her off then (thank god) the whirring stopped.
4.1Prevent someone from receiving or being provided with something, especially power or water: consumers were cut off for nonpayment
More example sentences
  • Some residents are illegally reconnecting their water supplies after they were cut off by the council due to non-payment, municipal finance director Brian Shepherd said in a report tabled before a council meeting.
  • The Psychic Friends Network just cut me off for nonpayment.
  • Hall has been living without electricity, gas or water in the flat for nearly a week after they were cut off on the orders of police.
4.1Reject someone as one’s heir; disinherit someone: Gabrielle’s family cut her off without a penny
More example sentences
  • So after the Gulf War they cut him off without a penny.
  • Now you fix this situation and you do it quickly or so help me, I'll cut you off without a penny.
  • Well maybe I wouldn't have to work here if you hadn't cut me off without a penny!
4.1Prevent someone from having access to somewhere or someone; isolate someone from something they previously had connections with: we were cut off from reality
More example sentences
  • Traffic along 16th Ave was very backed up and congested as access to Memorial Drive was cut off.
  • But this isolation cuts them off from social networks and cultural capital that are indispensable for survival and success at all levels of the workplace.
  • Although he had stepped down from the editorship, his supervisors at the Smithsonian took away his office, made him turn in his keys, and cut him off from access to the collections he needs for his research.
informal 4.1 (Of a driver) overtake someone and pull in too closely in front of them.
Example sentences
  • It was pouring with rain that day and I was trying to turn right down an alley off Earls Court Road when suddenly a man pulled out right in front of me and cut me up.
  • Many a time I have had to batter the side of the bus scaring myself and the passengers inside to warn the bus driver that he was cutting me up and was about to smear me across the pavement.
  • I consider myself to be a concerned citizen, so if a driver cuts me up or behaves in a manner that I consider to be irresponsible, I should flash my lights and attempt to make him, or her, pull over and explain to them the error of their ways.

cut out

1(Of a motor or engine) suddenly stop operating.
Example sentences
  • Dilger said that he could remember little of the accident, only that his engine had cut out and that the brakes had failed.
  • Most probably because of electrical problems, the engine then started cutting out.
  • Now, what happens when the engine cuts out at altitude?
stop working, stop, fail, give out, break down
informal die, give up the ghost, conk out
2North American informal (Of a person) leave quickly, especially so as to avoid a boring or awkward situation.
Example sentences
  • Bush is cutting out of the summit early, and he's made clear that he expects us all to get along under an American vision of how we should go forward.

cut someone out

Exclude someone: his mother cut him out of her will
More example sentences
  • He refused to provide his name but reassured me that Lara had been cut out of the film.
  • This photo may undercut her assertion that she was cut out of the loop.
  • Relationships between them are frosty, Morton claiming she was cut out of the promotional loop when they returned from America.

cut up

1North American informal Behave in a mischievous or unruly manner: kids cutting up in a classroom
More example sentences
  • ‘She was kind of getting a little antsy in there, there was a couple of horses cutting up,’ Bourque said.
2 informal (Of a horse race) have a particular selection of runners: the race has cut up badly with no other opposition from England

cut someone up

North American informal Criticize someone severely: my kids cut him up about his appetite all the time
More example sentences
  • Finally, after I got through with him, he took it out on Cory by cutting her up.

Words that rhyme with cut

abut, but, butt, glut, gut, hut, intercut, jut, Mut, mutt, phut, putt, rut, scut, shortcut, shut, slut, smut, strut, tut, undercut • offcut • cross-cut • linocut • crew

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