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

The oil price is buoyed by the inventories data, but also OPEC finally agreeing to meet in early July to consider an extension of its oil production cutbacks. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Crude prices finally see relief with inventories' decline," 19 June 2019 But the economies in small communities like Bingen and Hood River, where Insitu operates, are especially vulnerable to cutbacks from major employers because jobs are hard to replace – especially in specialized fields. Mike Rogoway,, "Drone maker Insitu will lay off more than 200," 4 June 2019 Crude slipped as traders braced for cutbacks at U.S. refineries with Harvey shifting toward the Texas-Louisiana border. Dana Pardini,, "Everything You Need to Know This Morning From Daybreak (Podcast)," 29 Aug. 2017 Whatever the case, areas with a high percentage of voters of color have been hardest hit by closures and worker cutbacks. Anna North, Vox, "Why long lines at polling places are a voting rights issue," 6 Nov. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the suggestions dig much deeper, pushing cities to promote lifestyle choices, like changing diets to include less meat, cutting back on air travel, and retrofitting old buildings while decreasing rates of new construction. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Cities’ climate plans are wildly underestimating emissions," 12 June 2019 He was usually involved in some project after work: cutting back honeysuckle, staking up tomato plants, repairing and fixing broken things. Beth Thames |,, "Father’s advice lasts more than a lifetime," 12 June 2019 Great companies thrive by investing more heavily while everyone else is cutting back during a recession. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Why Mark Zuckerberg’s Suit Should Be a Wake-Up Call for Aspiring Tech Brainiacs Everywhere," 10 Apr. 2018 Use it to teach your kids a little bit about the weather or just monitor how much water your plants are getting naturally to cut back on sprinkler time. Shelby Deering, USA TODAY, "10 reasons to look forward to the rainy days of spring," 26 Mar. 2018 Were each of those 195 countries to suddenly shape up, dramatically cutting back on fossil fuels to bring emissions in line with targets, that would still be not nearly enough to hit even Paris’s quite scary target. David Wallace-wells, Daily Intelligencer, "The Paris Climate Accords Are Looking More and More Like Fantasy," 25 Mar. 2018 One lone dissenter was a former Chula Vista Public Library employee who was laid off in 2012 and criticized the City Council for spending 67 percent of the general fund on public safety while cutting back on other services. Gustavo Solis,, "Chula Vista adds tax increase to June ballot," 13 Feb. 2018 Decreasing rains and floodwaters means the navy can cut back on its rescue teams in Kerala, navy spokesman Capt. Aijaz Rahi, Fox News, "Indian military scales down flood rescue operations," 21 Aug. 2018 The American Beverage Association has used aggressive campaigning to beat back soda tax and other measures intended to get people to cut back on sugary drinks. Washington Post, "California may block new local soda taxes," 28 June 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

25 Jun 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).


to take the place or position of

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