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

cut back; cutting back; cuts 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

Not helping matters were hundreds of layoffs at the Fremont plant, which the company said was a culling related to poor performance reviews and not a staffing cutback. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Tesla producing far fewer Model 3s than Elon Musk promised, extending wait time," 3 Jan. 2018 The cutback in production is likely to be temporary as Glencore explores new copper-mining methods for the mine. ... Scott Patterson, WSJ, "Glencore to Cut Production at Major Copper, Cobalt Mine," 19 Feb. 2019 Bu the sharp Metro cutbacks — announced Friday afternoon — also caught many riders by surprise. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Metro buses still on reduced snow schedules while slush brings new driving risks," 12 Feb. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Then business slowed at Norcold, and the company cut back on workers’ hours, causing a number of Puerto Ricans to seek other jobs. Erin Ailworth And, WSJ, "In Need of Workers, the Midwest Recruits From Puerto Rico," 14 Feb. 2019 The daughter of Stay Thirsty drops out of maiden special weight competition for the initial time and cuts back to one turn after a pair of efforts going a mile and 40 yards at Tampa Bay Downs to start her 2017. Scott Shapiro, The Courier-Journal, "'s free expert pick for Tuesday at Churchill Downs," 30 Apr. 2018 For readers with other ground covers, Asian jasmine generally requires cutting back at least once a year. Dan Gill,, "How and when to cut back liriope, monkey grass and other ground covers," 24 Feb. 2018 Most of the hundreds of patients seeking bariatric surgery each year at St. Vincent have tried and failed to lose weight strictly by eating like a caveman, cutting back on carbohydrates, or following some other faddish meal plan. Zachary Lewis,, "Exercise of any form is key to overcoming obesity: Stretching Out," 14 Feb. 2018 Bonus tip: New drawer-style dishwashers help cut back on water use for smaller loads. Suzanne Morrissey, ELLE Decor, "11 Ways to Go Green in your Kitchen," 12 Jan. 2010 Democrats, though, vowed to use Walters' support for the tax overhaul against her, noting that the cut backs on mortgage interest and state and local tax deductions had hit many in the affluent district. Author: Carl Hulse, Jonathan Martin, Anchorage Daily News, "Democrats strengthen House takeover prospects in primary voting," 7 June 2018 But a few specs are being cut back to account for the $10 price reduction. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Raspberry Pi made a cheaper version of its most powerful PC," 15 Nov. 2018 After Dave Romney received a pass from Ashley Cole and sent in a looping cross from the left wing, Ibrahimovic cut back toward goal and took the ball on the volley, sending it past goalkeeper David Ousted. Daniel O'boyle,, "Galaxy fail to preserve a lead for the second consecutive game, tying 2-2 with D.C. United," 5 July 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 tooth


cut back



cut bone

cut card

Statistics for cutback

Last Updated

14 May 2019

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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

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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).


something valued as if it were money

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