cut·back | \ˈkət-ˌbak \

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 & Antonyms for cutback

Synonyms: Verb

abbreviate, abridge, curtail, dock, elide, shorten, syncopate, truncate

Antonyms: Verb

elongate, extend, lengthen, prolong, protract

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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

Some cutbacks also were driven by Drexel’s decision to cap annual tuition, fee and room and board increases to 2 percent through next year, addressing concerns that the school had grown too expensive. Susan Snyder,, "Tuition was rising, appeal was falling. Here's how Drexel University tried to stop the slide," 29 June 2018 Yet any cutback in cooperation could extend Europe’s defense vulnerabilities, undercutting the bloc’s access to Britain’s significant defense spending, research and resources. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "Troubled Talks Hold Post-Brexit Security in the Balance," 23 June 2018 However, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion was very game holding off Audible for second and could benefit from the cutback in distance. Bob Clancy,, "Clancy's Call: Handicapping The Preakness Stakes," 18 May 2018 Wilmington’s compact downtown has suffered from cutbacks at the DuPont Co. and other major employers. Joseph N. Distefano,, "Ex-Citi, Comcast execs raise another $100M for FairSquare credit cards," 15 May 2018 But officials say Lake Powell and its companion, Lake Mead, will have enough water to avoid mandatory cutbacks this year. Fox News, "Outlook for vital Southwestern US river remains grim," 7 May 2018 Not About the Money, Money, Money CMO Today’s Alex Bruell reports: From client cutbacks to new marketing challenges, 2017 was a tough year for the CEOs of the top ad holding companies, including Interpublic Group of Cos. and Omnicom Group. Lara O’reilly, WSJ, "CMO Today: What’s Next for Facebook’s Ad Model; Disney’s Iger Considered Presidential Run; Omnicom and IPG CEO Pay," 13 Apr. 2018 Amazon is laying off hundreds of corporate employees, a rare cutback for a company that has spent most of the last few years in a frantic growth spurt. Matt Day, The Seattle Times, "Amazon laying off corporate employees in rare cutback," 12 Feb. 2018 Willian pushed it through into space just to the left of the goal, and his cutback is met by ... Andrew Keh, New York Times, "Brazil’s Joy Is Mexico’s Heartbreak in World Cup Knockout," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Moving Forward The thaw in relations will allow both countries to cut back on defense spending to redirect funds elsewhere, such as to education and roads. Abigail Abrams, Time, "Landmark Peace Declaration Ends ‘State of War’ Between Ethiopia and Eritrea," 12 July 2018 And truly cutting back on plastic waste in the ocean would be a mammoth undertaking. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Starbucks Vows to Ditch Plastic Straws by 2020. How Will the Oceans Change?," 9 July 2018 The main cause for the increase is simple: Prince William, Prince Harry, and Kate Middleton have been taking on more and more royal duties in the past year as Queen Elizabeth II cuts back. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Royal Family Clothing Budget Is Reportedly Up Almost $2 Million Since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Engagement," 30 June 2018 Some researchers suggest that cutting back on refined carbs and sweets also may be helpful (Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, September 2017). Joe Graedon, M.s., And Teresa Graedon, Houston Chronicle, "Changing washcloths daily helps control acne," 23 June 2018 Also cutting back are Astellas Pharma, which last month announced a reorganization that will reduce its workforce by 600 jobs, and Taisho Pharmaceutical. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Antibiotic shortages putting patients at risk; EMA fears staff losses as HQ move nears," 1 June 2018 Ikea told the Observer that the company is cutting back on some of its expansion aims in favor of other strategies. Joshua Fechter, San Antonio Express-News, "Ikea still plans to open San Antonio-area store after pulling out of North Carolina location," 25 May 2018 Most of the company's stateside operations have popped up in malls such as Sunvalley Mall in Concord and Eastridge Shopping Center in San Jose as anchor tenants such as Dillard's and J.C. Penney cut back their footprint. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Karoake, bowling and arcade games: entertainment center coming to Westfield Galleria | The Sacramento Bee," 23 Apr. 2018 Just two days after it was reported that Good Morning America co-anchor Lara Spencer would be cutting back on her airtime, rumors are starting to swirl. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Lara Spencer's "Good Morning America" Decision Has Upset Viewers Big Time," 17 Apr. 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

15 Oct 2018

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

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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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