There are 2 main definitions of cut up in English:

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cut up 1

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
See parent entry: cut
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There are 2 main definitions of cut up in English:

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cut-up 2

(also cut up)


1Divided into pieces by cutting: cut-up vegetables
1.1(Of a soft piece of ground) having an uneven surface after the passage of heavy vehicles or animals: the ground was deeply cut up where the cattle had strayed
More example sentences
  • This causes the surface to be cut up by the metal shoes and compacts the grounds in other parts causing water to gather in the ‘rainy season,’ which in turn becomes rank and boggy.
  • The turf was severely cut up by travellers' vehicles.
  • The ice was barely any smoother, but here it was cut up by the passage of so many other skaters, instead of having that natural roughness caused by the waves and ripples in the water as it froze.
2 informal (Of a person) very distressed: his girlfriend is dying and he’s really cut up about it
More example sentences
  • But I have been needing the retail therapy, I am still cut up about Lea, although I have been trying to suppress it more and more.
  • Firstly I am still cut up about Lea, and I will be for a while - it's just poor timing that my crisis and Allison's seem to have coincided.
  • I'm too cut up about the whole thing and I'm not entirely sure that they understand just how much hurt they have caused.


1A film or sound recording made by cutting and editing material from preexisting recordings.
Example sentences
  • Its texturally extremely rich music, measured and dominated by the flow of Muscis samples; a rich brew of voice cut ups, ethnic field recordings of flutes, kotos etc and deep, ambient electronics.
  • Her video montages are rather like cut ups from the 1980s or cable TV now, where rapid-fire montage irony is a transport mechanism for promos and ad breaks.
  • Quinoline Yellow's ‘Sunny delight suit’ is an exhaustive process of furious digital hard drive cut ups that really do give your head the dizzy's and sounds like a Star Wars light sabre battle on fast forward.
2 (cutup) North American informal A person who is fond of making jokes or playing pranks.
Example sentences
  • Mom said that she was a big cutup and a joker, always fooling around and stuff, and she was up on the conveyor belt dancing.
  • I wished suddenly I had been more of a class cutup.
  • I could see clearly enough that the vast majority of my fifth-graders genuinely wanted to learn - but all it took to subvert the whole enterprise were a few cutups.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cut-up

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