There are 2 main definitions of cut out in English:

Share this entry

cut out 1

1(Of a motor or engine) suddenly stop operating: both the lifeboat’s engines cut out at times as they hit the seabed
More 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, cease to function, stop, fail, give out;
informal die, give up the ghost, conk out, go on the blink, go kaput
British informal pack up
2North American informal (Of a person) leave quickly, especially so as to avoid a boring or awkward situation: she was working her way toward the door and when no one was watching, she cut out
More 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.
See parent entry: cut
Share this entry

There are 2 main definitions of cut out in English:

Share this entry

cut-out 2



1A shape cut out of board or another material: a life-size cut-out
More example sentences
  • The figures are life-size cut-outs, silhouetted against the stark white walls, which gives them a three-dimensional sculptural quality.
  • These are the proxy friends in the bank and life size cut-outs in the banking hall reassure the punters that they may not be there in person, but they are watching over them.
  • Perhaps I should make a life-size cut-out of my boss in secret and sit at the front desk one day…
1.1A person perceived as characterless or lacking in individuality: this film’s protagonists are cardboard cut-outs
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, the screenplay offers no fingerholds - characters are cardboard cut-outs, the plot detours wildly from logic.
  • And in a world where we no longer call a spade a spade but a multi-purpose topsoil cultivator, we need characters not cardboard cut-outs.
  • The result is long passages of simplistic monologue explaining basic Marxism in an entirely unconvincing manner, making the characters appear as cardboard cut-outs.
2A hole cut in something for decoration or to allow the insertion of something else: the mains output socket is fitted into a suitable cut-out on the rear panel
More example sentences
  • At the top of the tube there are two opposed semi-circular cut-outs which allow the air at the end of the tube to communicate with the air in the small clearance area around the inside of the bulge.
  • When mounted externally the metal backing plate has two cut-outs to allow the tubing to pass outside the case.
  • However the panel has a cut-out which allows status information to be seen without needing to move the fascia, so presumably voice activation would be the simplest way of dialing a number.
3A device that automatically breaks an electric circuit for safety and either resets itself or can be reset: there’s a thermal cut-out to prevent overheating
More example sentences
  • But none of the ten brands provided for this non-self resetting thermal cut-out and, therefore, none conformed to the parameter for the abnormal operation test.
  • Brakes, overloads, spring catches, monitors and cut-outs that will prevent a lift full of punters from tumbling to a lifty death.
  • Lock-up is via a rising block that engages a cut-out in the steel barrel extension.

Words that rhyme with cut-out


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cut-out

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.