Definition of cutthroat in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkətTHrōt/


1 dated A murderer or other violent criminal.
Example sentences
  • And of course the fact that there are elections in the offing would have absolutely nothing to do with the timing of Michael's pronouncements that the group is a bunch of murderers, gangsters, cut-throats and crooks.
  • Yet he ‘and his crew of financial cut-throats can loot the bank and rob 1260 depositors and you can send him to the penitentiary for only three years.’
  • With his crew of cut-throats, Sinbad attacked defenceless merchant ships and did what pirates do, thankfully omitted here because this is a U-certificate cartoon from DreamWorks.
murderer, killer, assassin
informal hitman
2 (also cutthroat trout) A trout of western North America, with red or orange markings under the jaw.
  • Salmo clarki, family Salmonidae.
Example sentences
  • Rainbow, cut-throat, grayling and brown trout make their home in the Bow River and its network of streams.
  • It is also a spawning and rearing habitat for three threatened salmon species, steelhead and cut-throat trout.


1(Of a competitive situation or activity) fierce and intense; involving the use of ruthless measures: cutthroat competition led to a lot of bankruptcies the cutthroat world of fashion
More example sentences
  • With high profits, more provincial people are digging for money by setting up schools, which leads to a more cut-throat competition, said Xu.
  • Relying only on price will lead to cut-throat competition and disappearing profits.
  • So how does he get the press in the cut-throat competition of London Fashion Week, when there are some 70 designers showing in five days?
ruthless, merciless, fierce, intense, aggressive, dog-eat-dog
vulgar slang ass-kicking
1.1(Of a person) using ruthless methods in a competitive situation: the greedy cutthroat manufacturers he worked for
More example sentences
  • And the leaders of all these religions are corrupt and power-hungry, no matter how much peace and brotherly love they preach, they are cut-throat hypocrites.
  • One can't fault them for thinking that this is the most cutthroat bunch of political operators to soil the Oval Office rugs in a long time.
  • I'd call them a bunch of cutthroat pirates… except that would be awfully unfair to pirates.
1.2 Sports Relating to or being a game or contest in which each of three players scores individually against the other two.
1.3Denoting a form of whist (or other card game normally for four) played by three players.
Example sentences
  • Least is a cut-throat game in which the goal is reversed.
  • The men played loud games of cutthroat euchre or pinochle under the trees while the women luxuriated by doing nothing.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cut·throat

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