WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
cut /kʌt/USA pronunciation   v.,  cut, cut•ting, adj., n. 
  1. to penetrate with or as if with a sharp-edged instrument or object: [+ object]I cut my face while shaving yesterday.[no object]The axe won't cut anymore.
  2. [+ object] to divide with or as if with a sharp-edged instrument;
    sever: I cut the birthday cake.
  3. to detach or remove with or as if with a sharp-edged instrument;
    slice off: [+ object]to cut a slice of bread.[+ out + object]Cut out a short article from the paper.[+ object + out]Cut a short article out and hand it in.[+ object + out + of + object]Cut a short article out of the newspaper.[+ off + object]The queen yelled, "Cut off her head!''[+ object + off]Cut her head off!
  4. See cut off below.
  5. to become detached or removed by or as if by a sharp-edged instrument:[no object]The meat is so tender it cuts easily with a fork.
  6. to set (someone or something) free or loose by severing rope, chains, etc.:[+ object]I cut the prisoner free with my knife.
  7. to saw down;
    fell: [+ object]to cut timber.[+ down + object]to cut down a tree.[+ object + down]to cut a tree down.
  8. See cut down below.
  9. to trim by clipping, shearing, or pruning:[+ object]to cut hair.
  10. [+ object] to mow;
    harvest: to cut grain.
  11. to reduce the length of;
    shorten:[+ object]to cut a speech short.
  12. to lower, reduce, or curtail:[+ object]to cut prices.
  13. to dissolve:[+ object]a detergent that cuts grease.
  14. to intersect;
    cross:[+ object]The top lines are cut at 90-degree angles by other lines.
  15. to move or cross, esp. in the most direct way:[+ across/through + object]to cut across an empty lot.
  16. Informal Terms[+ object] Informal. to cease;
    discontinue: Cut the kidding.
  17. Aeronautics to halt the running of, such as an engine;
    stop:[+ object]When I give you the signal, cut the engine.
  18. See cut off below.
  19. Dentistry to grow (a tooth) through the gum:[+ object]cutting her baby teeth.
  20. Ceramics[+ object]
    • to produce a pattern in (glass) by grinding and polishing:The craftsmen cut some fine crystal.
    • to make or fashion by cutting, such as a garment.
  21. Education[+ object] to fail to attend;
    make oneself absent from: began to cut classes and skip homework.
  22. to wound the feelings (of) :[+ object] : The way you treated me cut me badly.[no object]His criticisms cut deep.
  23. Gamesto divide (a pack of cards) at random parts, as by removing cards from the top: [+ object]He cut the deck and fanned the cards on the table.[no object]Whose turn is it to cut?
  24. Show Business[+ object]
    • to record a selection on (magnetic tape):cut a new record last week.
    • to make a recording of (a song, etc.):cut two songs in one session.
  25. [no object] to make a sudden or sharp change in direction;
    swerve: The runner cut to the left and moved upfield quickly.
  26. cut across, [+ across + object] to go beyond considerations of;
    transcend: The new tax program cuts across party lines.
  27. cut back,
    • to shorten (something growing) by cutting off the end: [+ back + object]You'll need to cut back the roses.[+ object + back]Cut the roses back.
    • to reduce or discontinue: [+ back + object]to cut back steel production.[+ object + back]to cut steel production back to lower levels.[+ back + on + object]We'll have to cut back on those expensive meals.
  28. cut down,
    • Also, cut down on. [~ (+ down) + on + object] to lessen or curtail;
      decrease: to cut down on snacks.
    • to destroy, kill, or disable: [+ down + object]The hurricane cut down everything in its path.[+ object + down]The machine guns cut the enemy down.
  29. cut in,
    • [no object] to move or thrust a vehicle, etc., suddenly between others:His car cut in suddenly in front of mine.
    • [no object] to interpose;
      interrupt: She would always cut in with some remark.
    • Informal Terms[no object] to interrupt a dancing couple in order to dance with one of them:May I cut in, please?
    • [+ object + in] to include, such as in a business deal or card game:We'll cut you in for 50% of the profits.
  30. cut off,
    • to intercept: [+ off + object]His brigade cut off the enemy.[+ object + off]The cavalry cut them off.
    • to interrupt: [+ off + object]The shouting cut off the speaker before she could finish.[+ object + off]They cut her off before she was finished.
    • to disconnect a phone connection with (someone) suddenly: [+ off + object]I cut off that salesman and returned to dinner.[+ object + off]I cut the salesman off.
    • to stop suddenly;
      discontinue: [+ off + object]They cut off funding for the project.[+ object + off]They cut funding off for next year.
    • to halt the operation of;
      turn off: [+ off + object]They cut off the power.[+ object + off]They cut the power off.
    • [+ object + off] to take away the right (of someone) to inherit;
      disinherit:His family cut him off without a cent.
    • [+ object] to separate;
      sever. See cut above, (def. 3).
  31. cut out,
    • to omit, delete, or remove;
      excise: [+ out + object]Cut out a few extra paragraphs here.[+ object + out]Cut a few paragraphs out.
    • to form by or as if by cutting: [+ out + object]She cut out heart-shaped pieces from the red paper.[+ object + out]She cut a few pages out.
    • Informal Termsto discontinue;
      stop: [+ out + object verb-ing]promised to cut out smoking.[+ object + out]Now cut that out; you're disturbing me.
    • [+ object;  usually: be + ~ + out + for + object] to plan;
      arrange: Your work is cut out for you.
    • Slang Terms[no object] Slang. to leave suddenly:Let's cut out and go home early.
    • [no object] (of an engine, etc.) to stop running:Suddenly the engine of the plane just cut out.
  32. cut up,
    • to cut into pieces or sections: [+ up + object]He cut up a few pieces of cheese.[+ object + up]He cut the cake up and passed it around.
    • to use a sharp instrument, such as a knife, to injure with wounds: [+ up + object]Her attacker began to cut up her face.[+ object + up]began to cut her face up.
    • Informal Terms[no object] Informal. to play pranks;
      misbehave:As a kid he was always cutting up in class.

  1. separated or shaped by cutting:cut flowers; a cut diamond.
  2. reduced by or as if by cutting:cut prices.

n. [countable]
  1. the result of cutting, as an incision, passage, or channel:a deep cut in the wood.
  2. the act of cutting, as with a knife or whip:a quick cut at the rope.
  3. an amount or piece cut off:a cut of meat.
  4. Informal Termsa share, esp. of earnings or profits:an agent's cut of 5% on the deal.
  5. a reduction in price, salary, etc.:a cut of 25% on our best merchandise.
  6. the manner or fashion in which anything is cut:the cut of a dress.
  7. style;
    kind:a man of his cut.
  8. See a cut above below.
  9. a passage or course straight across or through:a cut through the woods.
  10. an act, speech, etc., that wounds the feelings of another:That insult was a deep cut.
  11. Educationan absence, as from a class at which attendance is required:You have four cuts already.
  12. Show Businessthe change from one shot or scene of a film to another:a quick cut to the musician in his happier days.
  13. Music and Dancean individual song, etc., on a record or tape:added that cut as an afterthought.
  1. Idiomsa cut above, somewhat superior to:Your work was a cut above the rest.
  2. Idiomscut a figure, to give a certain impression of oneself: That elderly statesman still manages to cut a distinguished figure.
  3. Idiomscut both ways, to have or result in advantages as well as disadvantages:The deal cuts both ways; you might benefit greatly or suffer tremendous losses.
  4. Idioms, cut it, [+ object;  usually: with negative words or phrases, or in questions][Informal.]to perform effectively or successfully:He can't seem to cut it in the financial world.
  5. Idiomscut it fine, to calculate precisely, without allowing for error:Our connecting train will leave at 3:35, but we won't get there until 3:31; isn't that cutting it just a bit fine?
  6. Idiomscut one's teeth on, [+ one's teeth + on + object] to do at an early stage or age:He cut his teeth on reporting, working for his town newspaper at the early age of eight.
  7. Idiomscut out for, [+ object;  usually: with negative words and phrases, or in questions] fitted for;
    capable of: He's just not cut out for the military.
  8. Idiomscut short, to end abruptly before completion;
    interrupt: [+ object + short]cut the performance short and left early.[+ short + object]They cut short the concert and everyone went home early.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
cut  (kut),USA pronunciation v.,  cut, cut•ting, adj., n. 
  1. to penetrate with or as if with a sharp-edged instrument or object:He cut his finger.
  2. to divide with or as if with a sharp-edged instrument;
    carve:to cut a rope.
  3. to detach with or as if with a sharp-edged instrument;
    separate from the main body;
    lop off:to cut a slice from a loaf of bread.
  4. to hew or saw down;
    fell:to cut timber.
  5. to trim by clipping, shearing, paring, or pruning:to cut hair.
  6. to mow;
    harvest:to cut grain.
  7. to abridge or shorten;
    edit by omitting a part or parts:to cut a speech.
  8. to lower, reduce, diminish, or curtail (sometimes fol. by down):to cut prices.
  9. to dilute;
    make less thick:to cut wine.
  10. to dissolve:That detergent cuts grease effectively.
  11. to intersect;
    cross:One line cuts another at right angles.
  12. Informal Termsto cease;
    discontinue (often fol. by out):Cut the kidding. Let's cut out the pretense.
  13. Aeronauticsto stop;
    halt the running of, as a liquid or an engine (often fol. by off):The pilot cut the engines and glided in for a landing. Cut off the hot water.
  14. to dilute or adulterate (a drug) by mixing it with other substances.
  15. Dentistryto grow (a tooth or teeth) through the gum:The baby is cutting his teeth.
  16. Printingto type, write, or draw on (a stencil) for mimeographing.
  17. to make or fashion by cutting, as a statue, jewel, or garment.
  18. Ceramics[Glassmaking.]to produce a pattern (in glass) by grinding and polishing.
  19. to refuse to recognize socially;
    shun ostentatiously:Her friends began to cut her as the season progressed.
  20. to strike sharply, as with a whip.
  21. to absent oneself from:allowed to cut three classes per semester.
  22. Cinema, Show Business[Motion Pictures, Television.]
    • to stop (a scene or shot being filmed).
    • to edit (a film).
  23. to wound the feelings of severely.
  24. Education, Games[Cards.]
    • to divide (a pack of cards) at random into two or more parts, by removing cards from the top.
    • to take (a card) from a deck.
  25. Show Businessto record a selection on (a phonograph record or tape);
    make a recording of.
  26. to castrate or geld.
  27. Sportto hit (a ball) with either the hand or some instrument so as to change its course and often to cause it to spin.
  28. to hollow out;
    dig:to cut a trench.
  29. Sport[Cricket.]to strike and send off (a ball) in front of the batsman, and parallel to the wicket.
  30. Slang Termsto be a nonplaying dealer, manager, or supervisor of (a card game, crap game, or other gambling game) in return for a percentage of the money bet or sometimes for a fee.

  1. to penetrate or divide something, as with a sharp-edged instrument;
    make an incision:The scissors cut well.
  2. to admit of being cut:Butter cuts easily.
  3. to pass, go, or come, esp. in the most direct way (usually fol. by across, through, in, etc.):to cut across an empty lot.
  4. Show Business[Motion Pictures, Television.]
    • to shift suddenly from one shot to another:Cut to the barroom interior.
    • to stop the action of a scene: used as a command by a director.
  5. to make a sudden or sharp turn in direction;
    change direction suddenly;
    swerve:We cut to the left to avoid hitting the child.
  6. to strike a person, animal, etc., sharply, as with a whip.
  7. to wound the feelings severely:His criticism cut deep.
  8. (of the teeth) to grow through the gums.
  9. Games, Education[Cards.]to cut the cards.
  10. Informal Termsto leave hastily:to cut for the hills.
  11. (of a horse) to interfere.
  12. Idiomscut a caper or  figure, to perform a spirited, brief, outlandish dance step, esp. as a result of euphoria.
  13. cut across, to precede or go beyond considerations of;
    transcend:The new tax program cuts across party lines.
  14. Idiomscut a figure: 
    • IdiomsSee  cut a caper. 
    • Idiomsto give a certain impression of oneself:He cut a distinguished figure in his tuxedo.
  15. cut and run: 
    • Naval Terms[Naut.]to cut the anchor cable and set sail, as in an emergency.
    • Naval Termsto leave as hurriedly as possible;
  16. Idiomscut back: 
    • to shorten by cutting off the end.
    • to curtail or discontinue:Steel production has been cut back in recent months.
    • to return to an earlier episode or event, as in the plot of a novel.
    • Sport[Football.]to reverse direction suddenly by moving in the diagonally opposite course.
  17. Idiomscut both ways, to have, produce, or result in advantages as well as disadvantages:This decision will inevitably cut both ways.
  18. cut down: 
    • Also,  cut down on. to lessen;
      decrease:to cut down on between-meal snacks.
    • to strike and cause to fall:The first force to attempt an advance was swiftly cut down.
    • to destroy, kill, or disable:The hurricane cut down everything in its path.
    • to remodel, remake, or reduce in size, as a garment:She had her old coat cut down to fit her daughter.
  19. Idiomscut or  chop down to size, to reduce the stature or importance of:The novelist had a big ego until the critics cut him down to size.
  20. cut in: 
    • to move or thrust oneself, a vehicle, etc., abruptly between others:A speeding car cut in and nearly caused an accident.
    • to interpose;
      interrupt:to cut in with a remark.
    • Informal Termsto interrupt a dancing couple in order to dance with one of them.
    • to blend (shortening) into flour by means of a knife.
  21. cut it, [Informal.]
    • to achieve or maintain a desired level of performance:The aging football player decided he couldn't cut it any longer and retired.
    • to be effective or successful;
      satisfy a need.
  22. cut it out, [Informal.]to stop doing something:That hurts! Cut it out!
  23. Idiomscut no ice. See  ice (def. 10).
  24. cut off: 
    • to intercept.
    • to interrupt.
    • to stop suddenly;
    • to halt the operation of;
      turn off.
    • to shut off or shut out.
    • to disinherit.
    • to sever;
  25. cut out: 
    • to omit;
    • to oust and replace a rival;
    • to part an animal from a herd.
    • to plan;
      arrange:He has his work cut out for him.
    • to move out of one's lane of traffic.
    • Slang TermsAlso,  cut on out. to leave suddenly.
    • Informal Termsto refrain from;
      stop:to cut out smoking.
    • (of an engine, machine, etc.) to stop running.
  26. cut up: 
    • to cut into pieces or sections.
    • to lacerate;
    • to distress mentally;
    • Informal Termsto play pranks;
      misbehave:They got scolded for cutting up in church.

  1. that has been subjected to cutting;
    divided into pieces by cutting;
    detached by cutting:cut flowers.
  2. fashioned by cutting;
    having the surface shaped or ornamented by grinding, polishing, or the like:cut diamonds.
  3. reduced by or as if by cutting:cut whiskey; cut prices.
  4. Botanyincised;
  5. Animal Husbandrycastrated;
  6. Slang Termsdrunk.
  7. Idiomscut out for, fitted for;
    capable of:He wasn't cut out for military service.

  1. the act of cutting;
    a stroke or a blow, as with a knife, whip, etc.
  2. the result of cutting, as an incision, wound, passage, or channel.
  3. a piece cut off:a cut of a pie.
  4. Informal Termsa share, esp. of earnings or profits:His agent's cut is 20 percent.
  5. Clothinga haircut, often with a styling.
  6. a reduction in price, salary, etc.
  7. the manner or fashion in which anything is cut:the cut of a dress.
  8. style;
    kind:We need a man of his cut in this firm.
  9. a passage or course straight across or through:a cut through the woods.
  10. an excision or omission of a part.
  11. a part or quantity of text deleted or omitted.
  12. Buildinga quantity cut, esp. of lumber.
  13. a refusal to recognize an acquaintance.
  14. an act, speech, etc., that wounds the feelings.
  15. an engraved plate or block of wood used for printing.
  16. a printed picture or illustration.
  17. Educationan absence, as from a school class, at which attendance is required.
  18. Food[Butchering.]part of an animal usually cut as one piece.
  19. Games[Cards.]a cutting of the cards.
  20. Sport
    • the act of cutting a ball.
    • the spin imparted.
  21. [Fencing.]a blow with the edge of the blade instead of the tip.
  22. one of several pieces of straw, paper, etc., used in drawing lots.
  23. Cinema, Show Business[Motion Pictures, Television.]
    • Show Businessthe instantaneous or gradual transition from one shot or scene to another in an edited film.
    • an edited version of a film. Cf. rough cut, final cut.
    • an act or instance of editing a film.
  24. Music and Dancean individual song, musical piece, or other similar material on a record or tape.
  25. Mining, Energyany product of the fractional distillation of petroleum.
  26. Idiomsa cut above, somewhat superior to another (thing, person, etc.) in some respect:Her work is a cut above anyone else's.
  • 1175–1225; Middle English cutten, kytten, kitten, Old English *cyttan; akin to Old Swedish kotta to cut, Old Norse kuti little knife
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged gash, slash, slit, lance.
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged cleave, sunder, bisect.
      Cut, chop, hack, hew refer to giving a sharp blow or stroke.
      Cut is a general word for this:to cut the grass.To
      chop is to cut by giving repeated blows with something sharp, as an ax. To
      chop and to
      hew are practically interchangeable, but
      hew suggests keeping to a definite purpose:to chop or hew down a tree; to hew out a clearing.To
      hack is to cut or chop roughly and unevenly:to hack off a limb.
    • 7.See corresponding entry in Unabridged abbreviate, curtail.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
cut /kʌt/ vb (cuts, cutting, cut)
  1. to open up or incise (a person or thing) with a sharp edge or instrument; gash
  2. (of a sharp instrument) to penetrate or incise (a person or thing)
  3. to divide or be divided with or as if with a sharp instrument
  4. (intransitive) to use a sharp-edged instrument or an instrument that cuts
  5. (transitive) to trim or prune by or as if by clipping
  6. (transitive) to reap or mow (a crop, grass, etc)
  7. (transitive) sometimes followed by out: to make, form, or shape by cutting
  8. (transitive) to hollow or dig out; excavate
  9. to strike (an object) sharply
  10. to hit (the ball) to the off side, usually between cover and third man, with a roughly horizontal bat
  11. to hurt or wound the feelings of (a person), esp by malicious speech or action
  12. (transitive) informal to refuse to recognize; snub
  13. (transitive) informal to absent oneself from (an activity, location, etc), esp without permission or in haste: to cut class
  14. (transitive) to abridge, shorten, or edit by excising a part or parts
  15. (transitive) often followed by down: to lower, reduce, or curtail
  16. (transitive) to dilute or weaken
  17. (transitive) to dissolve or break up: to cut fat
  18. when intr, followed by across or through: to cross or traverse
  19. (intransitive) to make a sharp or sudden change in direction; veer
  20. to grow (teeth) through the gums or (of teeth) to appear through the gums
  21. (intransitive) to call a halt to a shooting sequence
  22. (followed by to) to move quickly to another scene
  23. to edit (film)
  24. (transitive) to switch off (a light, car engine, etc)
  25. (transitive) (of a performer, recording company, etc) to make (a record or tape of a song, concert, performance, etc)
  26. to divide (the pack) at random into two parts after shuffling
  27. (intransitive) to pick cards from a spread pack to decide dealer, partners, etc
  28. (transitive) (of a tool) to bite into (an object)
  29. cut both waysto have both good and bad effects
  30. to affect both sides of something, as two parties in an argument, etc
  31. cut a dashto behave or dress showily or strikingly; make a stylish impression
  32. cut a person deadinformal to ignore a person completely
  33. cut a good figureto appear or behave well
  34. cut a poor figureto appear or behave badly
  35. cut and runinformal to make a rapid escape
  36. cut itslang be successful in doing something
  37. cut it fineinformal to allow little margin of time, space, etc
  38. cut looseto free or become freed from restraint, custody, anchorage, etc
  39. cut no iceinformal to fail to make an impression
  40. cut one's teeth oninformal to use at an early age or stage
  41. to practise on
  1. detached, divided, or separated by cutting
  2. made, shaped, or fashioned by cutting
  3. reduced or diminished by or as if by cutting: cut prices
  4. weakened or diluted
  5. Brit
    a slang word for drunk
  6. cut and driedinformal settled or arranged in advance
  1. the act of cutting
  2. a stroke or incision made by cutting; gash
  3. a piece or part cut off, esp a section of food cut from the whole: a cut of meat
  4. the edge of anything cut or sliced
  5. a passage, channel, path, etc, cut or hollowed out
  6. an omission or deletion, esp in a text, film, or play
  7. a reduction in price, salary, etc
  8. a decrease in government finance in a particular department or area, usually leading to a reduction of services, staff numbers, etc
  9. informal a portion or share
  10. informal a straw, slip of paper, etc, used in drawing lots
  11. the manner or style in which a thing, esp a garment, is cut; fashion
  12. Irish informal a person's general appearance: I didn't like the cut of him
  13. Irish derogatory a dirty or untidy condition: look at the cut of your shoes
  14. a direct route; short cut
  15. the US name for block
  16. a stroke made with the bat in a roughly horizontal position
  17. an immediate transition from one shot to the next, brought about by splicing the two shots together
  18. words or an action that hurt another person's feelings
  19. a refusal to recognize an acquaintance; snub
  20. Brit a stretch of water, esp a canal
  21. a cut aboveinformal superior (to); better (than)
  22. make the cutto better or equal the required score after two rounds in a strokeplay tournament, thus avoiding elimination from the final two rounds

See also cut across, cutbackEtymology: 13th Century: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian kutte to cut, Icelandic kuti small knife
'a cut above' also found in these entries:

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