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b cutoffs plural : shorts originally made from jeans with the legs cut off at the knees or higher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

Officials have begun contingency planning to accelerate production in the event of a Chinese cutoff, Rosenthal said. David J. Lynch, Anchorage Daily News, "China hints it will choke off U.S. ‘rare earths’ access. But it’s not that easy.," 11 June 2019 As for here at home, the cutoff would only exacerbate the entrenched misconception that Europeans brought modernism to a New World that was in fact a hotbed of culture and innovation long before Cortes and Columbus walked the earth. Chris Wilson, Time, "Jesus, Genghis Khan and Joan of Arc Are Just Some of the Major Figures That Could Be Cut From AP World History Classes," 25 June 2018 And the relatively low cutoff means hundreds of medium-sized enterprises are on the hook too. Travis H. Brown, Fortune, "How Seattle’s New Tax to Fight Homelessness Could Ruin its Economy," 17 May 2018 In the case of randomizing cards, there is one important caveat: The seven-shuffle cutoff applies to an ordinary, and imperfect, riffle shuffle of 52 cards. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "The Trick Behind Properly Shuffling Cards," 11 May 2018 This year, Movers for Moms will accept donations through May 11, the Friday before Mother's Day (the cutoff may vary from site to site). Lawrence Specker,, "Mother's Day drive supporting Alabama women's shelters," 11 Apr. 2018 For adults 26 to 64, 10 hours may be appropriate, but that’s the cutoff, the NSF says. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How Much Sleep Do I Need?," 21 Mar. 2019 For context, many states impose age cutoffs for entry to kindergarten. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Kids who start kindergarten young are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD," 17 Dec. 2018 So while early adopters will have to put up with the bars, hopefully the March cutoff should encourage developers to optimize their software for Apple’s latest iPhone and iPad screens. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Netflix updated its app to resolve an early annoyance with Apple’s new iPad Pro," 12 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Yet, Facebook's decision to cut off Vine, like a number of other potentially concerning antitrust issues in the tech industry, has been public knowledge for years. Seth Fiegerman, CNN, "Tech's antitrust problem has been out in the open for years," 5 June 2019 The woman who lives at the house told police that power to the residence had been cut off since Friday., "San Antonio woman identifies her father and stepsisters as victims of carbon monoxide poisoning," 4 June 2019 The move was the latest in a series of punitive actions by the U.S. designed to cut off critical income streams for Mr. Maduro, whom the Trump administration calls an illegitimate leader. ... Louise Radnofsky, WSJ, "As Treasury Sanctions Venezuela Gold Miner, Trump Says U.S. Can Do More," 19 Mar. 2019 Shoot it on a solid, neutral background (preferably white) in daylight, and center the item in the lens, being careful not to cut off any sides of the item. Country Living, "Contact the Editors and Get Help for Your Country Living Subscription," 4 Jan. 2019 At least to 20 mph, where the boost cuts off on my Riese & Muller. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "E-Biking My Way Through New York's Five Boro Bike Tour," 9 May 2019 Later, though, a different representative told her that the machines that drop the chocolate sometimes malfunction, cutting off the tip, suggesting that the snipped kisses are not, in fact, intentional. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "2018 was a difficult year for cookies," 21 Dec. 2018 The paramilitaries had appeared, cutting off the only exit from Divine Mercy, and firing at the remaining barricade just outside the church. Joshua Partlow,, "Inside the church where Nicaraguan paramilitaries laid siege on university students," 14 July 2018 Those fears were compounded when a neighbor sent an e-mail to the community that the person had seen construction workers cutting off the water supply to the property, which must happen before a demolition. Jamie Halper,, "Roxbury church gets new chance at preservation," 11 July 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

15 Jun 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

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