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

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Examples of cutback in a Sentence

Verb 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 Now Democrats can make that case again, and point to the budget document as irrefutable evidence that the destructive cutbacks by Trump and his Republican allies extend well beyond health care. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Reverse–Robin Hood Budget Should Be a Gift to the Democrats," 11 Feb. 2020 United had earlier said the flight cutbacks would end on February 8. CBS News, "Global airlines suspend flights to China on virus fears," 30 Jan. 2020 But Iran shifted its business from Philipp Brothers to Marc Rich & Co. and kept the number of daily barrels allotted to Rich at the ongoing gigantic levels despite the overall cutbacks mandated by OPEC. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Lessons from a fugitive: what the tangled tale of Marc Rich tells us about Carlos Ghosn," 17 Jan. 2020 Despite those cutbacks, and also the relentless efforts by the generals and the Admiralty to wipe it out, the new RAF hung on. Paul Kennedy, WSJ, "The RAF at 100: Masters of the Skies," 29 June 2018 Exports of American timber to China have fallen by 40%, and loggers have made cutbacks and layoffs. The Economist, "Stock take," 2 Dec. 2019 Misdirection plays with the QB and running back, cutbacks by Hunter. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Shorthanded Avon overtakes Benedictine, 49-28, to make third straight D-II, Region 6 final," 16 Nov. 2019 But growth has dwindled over the last two years, with overall car sales dropping 8% last year amid a general economic slowdown and cutbacks on government subsidies for electric vehicles. Naomi Xu Elegant, Fortune, "Ford and GM take a hit in China as German carmakers thrive," 15 Jan. 2020 The world’s top producer of luxury and commercial vehicles set the scene for the cutbacks two months ago when Kallenius warned investors returns may remain depressed for the next two years. Christoph Rauwald,, "Daimler Pledges That Cost Cuts Today Will Fund the Cars of Tomorrow," 7 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Also cutting back sharply is Air China, which flies the most passengers nonstop between the United States and China. David Yaffe-bellany, New York Times, "From Starbucks to FedEx, Coronavirus Upends Businesses That Depend on China," 10 Feb. 2020 Provide boneset with moderate irrigation and cut back in late spring for best summer appearance. Thad Orr, Sunset Magazine, "Your Essential Winter Gardening To-Do List," 10 Feb. 2020 China has placed more than 50 million people in the region under virtual quarantine, while foreign countries, companies and airlines have cut back severely on travel to China and quarantined those who recently passed through Wuhan. Ken Moritsugu, Anchorage Daily News, "U.S. airlines say they will suspend or reduce flights between the U.S. and China," 31 Jan. 2020 China has placed more than 50 million people in the region under virtual quarantine, while foreign countries, companies and airlines have cut back severely on travel to China and quarantined those who recently passed through Wuhan. Ken Moritsuguand Zeke Miller,, "US declares emergency, new entry restrictions due to virus," 31 Jan. 2020 Outsourcing and foreign maintenance work has become a rallying point for mechanics unions in recent years as airlines cut back on the amount of work done by their own employees in favor of cheaper work done by contractors or overseas. Dallas News, "Does American Airlines’ new deal with its mechanics signal a trend away from outsourcing?," 31 Jan. 2020 Airlines American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines are all suspending or cutting back on flights between the U.S. and China. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "China coronavirus causing chaos for U.S. companies," 30 Jan. 2020 Employers won’t hire as many people or cut back on workers’ hours, said Edie Ousley, spokeswoman. Marcia Heroux Pounds,, "Raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour? Here’s who gains and who loses," 12 Dec. 2019 That decision has meant less disposable income and cutting back on nonessentials like vacations or phone upgrades. USA Today, "America's parents want paid family leave and affordable child care. Why can't they get it?," 3 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for cutback

Time Traveler

The first known use of cutback was in 1871

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Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cutback.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cutback


How to pronounce cut back (audio)

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

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