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

He is expected to outline details of the cutbacks by late July. Jenny Strasburg, WSJ, "Deutsche Bank’s Equities Chief Expected to Leave Amid Planned Overhaul," 25 June 2019 Apter is not alone in blaming cutbacks for the problem: opposition lawmakers, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, have been similarly scathing in their views. Rob Picheta, CNN, "Blunt blades, GPS trackers and longer school hours: What's the answer to Britain's knife-crime crisis?," 24 June 2019 Even consumer goods companies such as Hindustan Unilever (HUL) have noted that there have been cutbacks in spending. Nupur Anand, Quartz India, "Here’s proof that Indians are losing confidence in their economy," 7 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the meantime, the agency is encouraging people across the state and in certain communities to participate in voluntary programs to cut back on their small contribution to dust pollution. Andrew Nicla, azcentral, "ADEQ is treating soil along I-10 in Pinal County to reduce dust storm risk," 13 July 2019 The trail briefly follows the tracks passing a home and then cuts back into the woods overlooking a scenic marsh area. Peter Marteka,, "A trip along a busy Route 32 and discovering a sanctuary along the Thames in Waterford," 12 July 2019 Use scissors to cut back an inch or two down from the unopened bud — utting right above a set of leaves. Betty Cahill, The Denver Post, "Ten tips to ensure a healthy lawn during a Colorado summer," 27 June 2019 When property taxes dwindled for K-12 schools, the state made up for their loss and cut back on UC and Cal State. George Skelton, The Mercury News, "Skelton: How California can become a tuition-free college state," 11 June 2019 When property taxes dwindled for K-12 schools, the state made up for their loss and cut back on UC and Cal State. George Skelton,, "Here’s how California can become a tuition-free college state," 10 June 2019 Fact: Health care costs are rising far faster than the cost of living, digging into American families' pocketbooks and causing half of families to cut back on medical care. CBS News, "As Dems debate, facts about economy, taxes, health care, wages and more," 26 June 2019 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines in 2016 to cut back prescriptions after years of liberal opioid dispensing contributed to addiction and overdose deaths. Jayne O'donnell, USA TODAY, "Pain patients left in anguish by doctors 'terrified' of opioid addiction, despite CDC change," 24 June 2019 Missett enlisted instructors to take over some of her classes, cutting back to 12 or so a week. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "The 75-Year-Old Behind Jazzercise Keeps Dancing On Her Own," 21 June 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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Dictionary Entries near cutback

cut a rug

cut a tooth



cut back


cut bone

Statistics for cutback

Last Updated

9 Jul 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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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