cut·​off | \ ˈkət-ˌȯf How to pronounce cutoff (audio) \

Definition of cutoff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act or action of cutting off
2a : the new and relatively short channel formed when a stream cuts through the neck of an oxbow
c : a channel made to straighten a stream
3 : a device for cutting off
4a : something cut off
b cutoffs plural : shorts originally made from jeans with the legs cut off at the knees or higher
5 : the point, date, or period for a cutoff

cut off

cut off; cutting off; cuts off

Definition of cut off (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bring to an untimely end
2 : to stop the passage of cut off communications
3 : shut off, bar the river cut off their retreat
4 : discontinue, terminate cut off a subscription
5 : separate, isolate cut herself off from her family
6 : disinherit threatened to cut him off without a penny
7a : to stop the operation of : turn off cut off the engine
b : to stop or interrupt while in communication the operator cut me off

intransitive verb

: to cease operating

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Other Words from cutoff


cutoff adjective

Examples of cutoff in a Sentence

Noun a cutoff of the water supply The cutoff for new applications is next Wednesday. Verb the majority party cut off debate and forced a vote on the bill the dog cut off the one sheep that had to be sheared
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The cutoff for making it to the list was $740 million, up from $590 million last year. Grace Chung, Forbes, "Taiwan’s 50 Richest 2021: Buoyed By An Export Boom, Fortunes Soar Amid The Pandemic," 5 May 2021 Minnesota has measured itself by vaccination of all eligible people 16 and older because the Pfizer vaccine is available to people ages 16 and 17 while the cutoff is 18 for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson versions. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, "70% vaccination target could shift Minnesota's COVID-19 response," 4 May 2021 But making things more complicated, the cutoff is different in Tennessee than in Alabama. al, "The Tennessee Trap: How one state’s war on Medicaid fraud ensnares working moms in Alabama," 26 Apr. 2021 The cutoff for food safety is at 1,200 becquerels per kilogram. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Fallout From Cold War Nuclear Testing Detected in U.S. Honey," 24 Apr. 2021 The new eligibility rules mean the checks will phase out more quickly than during the two previous rounds, when the cutoff was $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for joint filers with no children. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "$1,400 checks are coming in the new coronavirus relief bill. Here's who will get them, and who won't.," 10 Mar. 2021 The new analysis is based on 190 COVID-19 cases that occurred in people who had received the vaccine or a placebo; the previous one evaluated 141 cases, which AstraZeneca says was a pre-specified cutoff point for an interim analysis. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "AstraZeneca lowers efficacy claim for COVID-19 vaccine, a bit, after board's rebuke," 25 Mar. 2021 Each national champ in our sample was in the top 40, so that's the cutoff point. Noah Trister, Star Tribune, "What some advanced stats may tell us about the NCAA field," 18 Mar. 2021 In about half of the conversations, both people wanted to talk less, but their cutoff point was usually different. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, "People Literally Don’t Know When to Shut Up—or Keep Talking, Science Confirms," 1 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The oil and gas industry has blamed the severe weather and electric generators that cut off power. Dallas News, "More storm damage: Texas freeze losses rise to $1.6 billion for Vistra, turning profits into red ink," 26 Apr. 2021 Tarinelli pursued with two follow-up questions, the second of which got cut off. Washington Post, "Opinion: Cuomo sidelines major media players in remote press conferences," 23 Apr. 2021 Unlike two-piece swimsuits that cut off right under the chest, the tankini has a longer top that tapers off below the belly button, giving you extra coverage and more room to show off a fun pattern or design. Sanah Faroke, Southern Living, "The 11 Best Tankini Swimsuits for a Stylish Yet Modest Beach Look, According to Customer Reviews," 21 Apr. 2021 In 1994, neighboring Lithuania adopted a currency board to cut off the central bank’s funding of government expenditures. Jacques De Larosière And Steve H. Hanke, WSJ, "Lebanon Could Use a Currency Board," 21 Apr. 2021 How much would Texas homes and businesses have been willing to pay in electric bills for the power that got cut off? Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, "The Dallas Fed confirms climate-proofing the electrical grid is well worth the cost," 16 Apr. 2021 So, The Fold is a really big problem for Ravka, which has been cut off into East Ravka (the inland) and West Ravka (the coast). Nick Romano,, "Into the Grishaverse: A beginner's guide to Netflix's Shadow and Bone," 14 Apr. 2021 But sometimes, platelets can become activated when there is no injury, leading to clots in the blood vessels that can cut off blood flow to key organs such as the heart, lungs or brain. NBC News, "A key component of the J&J vaccine could explain the risk of extremely rare blood clots," 14 Apr. 2021 The move means Morris Brown can offer federal financial aid for the first time since 2002, when federal administrators cut off the spigot as the college wallowed in debt and was being investigated. Jeff Amy, ajc, "Morris Brown College nears reaccreditation after 20 years," 14 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cutoff.' 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 cutoff


1741, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for cutoff

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The first known use of cutoff was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

16 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cutoff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for cutoff



English Language Learners Definition of cutoff

: the act of stopping the movement or supply of something
: the time when something must be done or completed
: short pants that are made from long pants by cutting off the legs at the knees or higher

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