cut·​back | \ ˈkət-ˌbak How to pronounce cutback (audio) \

Definition of cutback

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something cut back
2 : reduction a cutback in funding

cut back


Definition of cut back (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to shorten by cutting : prune

intransitive verb

1 : to interrupt the sequence of a plot (as of a movie) by introducing events prior to those last presented
2 : cut down cut back on sugar

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Synonyms for cutback

Synonyms: Verb

bob, clip, crop, cut, dock, lop (off), nip, pare, poll, prune, shave, shear, snip, trim

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Examples of cutback in a Sentence


we need to cut back the bushes a bit so that the house number is visible from the street cut back the meeting so everyone could leave early for the long weekend

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sunrun has pursued none of the same cutbacks that Tesla has imposed on SolarCity. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Tesla’s SolarCity lost ground to Sunrun in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 Even as staffers anticipate potential cutbacks, ABC News, which is owned by Disney, continues to pay huge amounts of money to the stars at the top of its on-air roster. Brian Flood, Fox News, "Disney selling ABC News’ longtime headquarters as trouble looms for embattled TV stars, journalists," 13 June 2018 Lake Mead has never fallen low enough to trigger cutbacks, but a nearly two-decade drought and growing demand makes a shortage more and more likely. Washington Post, "Mexico, 2 US states could see Colorado River cutback in 2020," 9 May 2018 Burman repeated her call for the seven U.S. states that use the river to come up with a contingency plan to avoid mandatory cutbacks. Dan Elliott, Fox News, "Odds of shortage increase for vital river in US Southwest," 24 Aug. 2018 But in recent years, Moscow’s space program has been hit with sharp funding cutbacks, sagging employee morale and a spate of unmanned launch failures. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Rocket Launch Setback Threatens to Hobble U.S. Space Exploration," 11 Oct. 2018 Under Internal Revenue Service rules, the first subsidy cutback, to $3,750, would begin for cars delivered in October or January, depending on when the 200,000 limit is hit. Russ Mitchell,, "As Tesla tax credits disappear, will Model 3 deposit-holders stick around?," 3 July 2018 Scientists say saving the southern resident orcas is going to take a variety of solutions, from quieting vessel noise to fishing cutbacks, to restraint on development in what habitat remains for salmon and even breaching the lower Snake River dams. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "Will we now commit to saving the Northwest’s orcas? A task force meets Tuesday," 7 Aug. 2018 Board members made staff cutbacks, consolidating resources by establishing separate grade centers at Leigh and Giles. Staff Report,, "Let the music play: Successful fundraising effort by Norridge parents saves District 80 band program," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Photo: stefan wermuth/Reuters Mr. Bramson wants Barclays to dramatically cut back its financial markets businesses to make the bank less risky, free up capital and improve its valuation. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "Barclays Bats Off Activist With Buyback," 21 Feb. 2019 Makers of vaping devices say their products are intended for use by adults, particularly smokers who would like to cut back on regular cigarettes by switching to a less-toxic alternative. Karen Kaplan, The Seattle Times, "Vaping among teens spikes, luring new generation of kids into tobacco use," 18 Dec. 2018 Shopping is the key to accomplishing your New Year's resolutions — unless your resolution is to cut back on the shopping, of course. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Stores That Are Open on New Year's Day, Including Starbucks, Target, and More," 18 Dec. 2018 Levis also is continuing to cut back on the amount of chemicals used in the garment making process. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Levi's Expanding Worker Education Efforts to Improve Quality of Life," 26 June 2018 Meanwhile, cities also are being urged to cut back water use following the historic five-year drought. Ryan Sabalow, Dale Kasler And Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "They are building 11,000 new homes in Folsom. But will there be enough water?," 18 June 2018 President Donald Trump campaigned on promises to cut back on environmental regulation. Clare Foran, CNN, "NYT: EPA expected to roll back fuel economy rules for cars," 29 Mar. 2018 As with hormonal IUDs, the progestin in this contraceptive works to thicken your cervical mucus, cut back on your uterine lining, and possibly suppress ovulation. Korin Miller, SELF, "How to Stop Your Period With Birth Control," 16 Jan. 2019 Further Reading Trump’s coal rescue is getting more complicated The Trump administration campaigned on its ability to save coal by cutting back Obama-era regulations. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Trump tried to rescue coal. Instead, coal capacity retirements doubled in 2018," 29 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cutback.' 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 cutback


1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1871, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Learn More about cutback

Dictionary Entries near cutback

cut a rug

cut a tooth



cut back


cut bone

Statistics for cutback

Last Updated

19 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cutback

The first known use of cutback was in 1871

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More Definitions for cutback



English Language Learners Definition of cutback

: the act of reducing the number or amount of something

More from Merriam-Webster on cutback

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cutback

Spanish Central: Translation of cutback

Comments on cutback

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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