cut·​off | \ ˈkət-ˌȯf How to pronounce cutoff (audio) \

Definition of cutoff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or action of cutting off
2a : the new and relatively short channel formed when a stream cuts through the neck of an oxbow
c : a channel made to straighten a stream
3 : a device for cutting off
4a : something cut off
b cutoffs plural : shorts originally made from jeans with the legs cut off at the knees or higher
5 : the point, date, or period for a cutoff

cut off

cut off; cutting off; cuts off

Definition of cut off (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bring to an untimely end
2 : to stop the passage of cut off communications
3 : shut off, bar the river cut off their retreat
4 : discontinue, terminate cut off a subscription
5 : separate, isolate cut herself off from her family
6 : disinherit threatened to cut him off without a penny
7a : to stop the operation of : turn off cut off the engine
b : to stop or interrupt while in communication the operator cut me off

intransitive verb

: to cease operating

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Other Words from cutoff


cutoff adjective

Examples of cutoff in a Sentence


a cutoff of the water supply The cutoff for new applications is next Wednesday.


the majority party cut off debate and forced a vote on the bill the dog cut off the one sheep that had to be sheared
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With the widening political space and returning opposition voices, ethnic and other tensions have flared and human rights groups have warned against a return to the repressive tactics of mass arrests and internet cutoffs. Sylvie Corbet, The Seattle Times, "French president backs Ethiopia leader’s sweeping reforms," 29 Oct. 2018 The upper and lower sections of the spillway were covered with structural concrete and cutoff walls installed on the sides. Ralph Ellis, CNN, "Rain may put Oroville Dam's partially repaired spillway to the test," 6 Apr. 2018 One was that if a US-Saudi spat led to a cutoff of Saudi oil (as happened over Israel in the 1970s), then the American economy was badly hurt by higher prices and the Soviet economy was simultaneously helped by stronger foreign currency reserves. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Reconsidering the US-Saudi relationship," 19 Oct. 2018 All subjects with diabetes who received the vaccine had a 10% reduction after three years and 18% after four years, bringing them below the cutoff point for a clinical diagnosis. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Tuberculosis Vaccine Could Reverse Type 1 Diabetes, Study Shows," 21 June 2018 Central to their criticism is that the Penn doctors used a score of 40th percentile or above as a cutoff point for passing neurophysiological tests in evaluations of six of the 21 patients evaluated (eTable 2). Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "US pulls two more from Cuba amid puzzling health cases now affecting China," 11 June 2018 Frame Denim Le Grand Shorts: The perfect pair of cutoffs is almost as important to a road trip as the right soundtrack. Amelia Mularz, Harper's BAZAAR, "Planning the Great American Road Trip," 15 June 2015 According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, three out of 6,642 abortions performed in the state in 2016 occurred after the 20-week cutoff and all of those were performed in hospitals. Jonece Starr Dunigan,, "Yellowhammer Fund in Tuscaloosa providing financial assistance for abortions," 31 Jan. 2018 That wasn’t enough to address concerns among senators, who called for a funding cutoff, then unanimously approved a resolution blaming Prince Mohammed for Mr. Khashoggi’s death. Dion Nissenbaum, WSJ, "Mattis, U.S. Commander Sought to Temper Saudi-Led War in Yemen," 31 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Payment processing giant PayPal has cut off the account of Alex Jones—the latest in a long line of technology companies to cut ties with the radio host and online provocateur. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "PayPal bans Alex Jones, saying he “promoted hate”," 21 Sep. 2018 Pival has a secret, too: When her son, Rahi, who moved to California for his studies, came out of the closet, her husband cut off ties with him. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: An Indian Visitor in Search of America," 26 July 2018 With a large serrated knife, cut off top ⅓ of large orange pumpkin and hollow out. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "50+ Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween," 25 July 2018 Hardev Singh Mohan Singh Panesar, 70, cut off his GPS ankle bracelet last week and fled to Mexico, according to court documents. Kristina Davis,, "Man at center of $1.5 million immigration fraud prosecution flees to Mexico, possibly with Nigerian passport," 28 June 2018 Hardev Singh Mohan Singh Panesar, 70, cut off his GPS ankle bracelet last week and fled to Mexico, according to court documents. Kristina Davis,, "Man accused of immigration fraud cuts off his GPS ankle bracelet and flees to Mexico, authorities say," 28 June 2018 The plan is likely to face steep resistance from the Palestinians, who have cut off ties since Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US embassy there., "Trump claims ‘a lot of progress’ made in the Mideast," 26 June 2018 And Nike cut off ties with Bangladesh suppliers when lobbied by employees on unsafe working conditions. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Google employee activism on diversity, Pentagon contract is shaking up Internet giant," 5 June 2018 The Palestinians, who seek east Jerusalem as their capital, have cut off ties with the Trump administration and say the U.S. is unfit to serve as a mediator. Fares Akram And Josef Federman, Houston Chronicle, "58 dead in Gaza protests as Israel fetes US Embassy move," 14 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cutoff.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cutoff


1741, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for cutoff

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cutoff

The first known use of cutoff was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for cutoff



English Language Learners Definition of cutoff

: the act of stopping the movement or supply of something
: the time when something must be done or completed
: short pants that are made from long pants by cutting off the legs at the knees or higher

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More from Merriam-Webster on cutoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cutoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cutoff

Spanish Central: Translation of cutoff

Comments on cutoff

What made you want to look up cutoff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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