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b cutoffs plural : shorts originally made from jeans with the legs cut off at the knees or higher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

From slip dresses, slide sandals, denim cutoffs, and chic shades these garments have officially begun their rotation. Bianca Nieves, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner's Favorite White Tank is Only $10," 3 July 2019 When a woman in a midriff-baring singlet top and cutoff shorts walked by, the men complained that any new rules should apply to everyone equally. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "A mainstay of the Chinese summer, the ‘Beijing Bikini,’ is under threat," 20 June 2019 Slip into a comfortable tee and denim cutoffs and accessorize with super fun pieces that support the cause to get your parade on. Seventeen, "How to Prep For Your First Pride Parade," 14 June 2019 The Democratic National Committee will use polling data to break ties between candidates who have met only one of the cutoffs and is expected to announce the lineup soon. Madeleine Joung, Time, "Here's Which Candidates Have Already Qualified for the Democratic Presidential Debate," 12 June 2019 The dispute centers on a program called Discovery, which by state law allows the city to offer specialized high-school spots to disadvantaged eighth-graders who miss the test-score cutoff and agree to summer tutoring. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "De Blasio Lawyers Say Change for Elite Schools Isn’t Biased Against Asian-Americans," 18 Jan. 2019 Officials have begun contingency planning to accelerate production in the event of a Chinese cutoff, Rosenthal said. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, "China hints it will choke off U.S. ‘rare earths’ access. But it’s not that easy.," 10 June 2019 There were new frayed denim cutoff shorts, kimono tops and jackets (including a standout beaded kimono jacket with a degradé print), djellabas, tasseled ponchos and robes and lots of straw Western hats. Ingrid Schmidt, The Hollywood Reporter, "Starry Crowd Gathers in Malibu for Saint Laurent's Mick Jagger-Inspired Men's Show," 7 June 2019 The model looked ready for the warm desert weather in a sheer lime and yellow shirt over a lacy bra, paired with light denim cutoffs. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Best Celebrity Looks From Coachella 2019 Weekend 1," 13 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In doing so, Japan joined the United States, Russia and other countries that have used national security concerns as a justification for cutting off trade. Ben Dooley, New York Times, "Japan Cites ‘National Security’ in Free Trade Crackdown. Sound Familiar?," 15 July 2019 Think Finance had accused a hedge fund, Victory Park Capital Advisors, of cutting off its access to cash and precipitating bankruptcy filing. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Westland woman had 350% interest rate on $1,200 loan — and a loophole allows it," 12 July 2019 That deal has since come under scrutiny for cutting off a larger FBI investigation into Epstein. Jessie Balmert,, "How Ohio's richest man was connected to Jeffrey Epstein, financier turned sex offender," 10 July 2019 President Trump has reimposed sanctions on Iran and deftly pressured other nations (in particular, foreign corporations and financial institutions) to resist dealing with Iran for fear of being cut off from the U.S. financial system. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "For Regime Change in Iran," 29 June 2019 Fueled by a Trump Administration executive order, Huawei, a leading global smartphone maker, faces being cut off by Android OS supplier Google and other component vendors, including Intel, Microsoft, and Qualcomm. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Huawei laptops quietly return to the Microsoft Store, though the federal ban remains in place," 17 June 2019 Some of the nest-making materials might have gotten tangled around its front leg, cutting off the blood supply to the limb. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "July 4th — The day we Bay Area-ites torture pets and wildlife with our fireworks," 3 July 2019 At about 36 feet, the Old Channel Road is underwater, cutting off the island from the mainland, and anything above 27 feet is considered flood stage. Patrick M. O'connell,, "Illinois’ first capital is an island that’s home to just 18 people. Recent flooding has made it even more isolated.," 3 July 2019 In the simplest sense, strokes occur when the blood supply to a particular region of the brain is interrupted, cutting off the area to oxygen and nutrients. Bret Stetka, Scientific American, "New Method for Tackling Stroke Restrains an Overactive Immune System," 2 July 2019

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

13 Jul 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 complain fretfully

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