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b cutoffs plural : shorts originally made from jeans with the legs cut off at the knees or higher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


a cutoff of the water supply The cutoff for new applications is next Wednesday.


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

From slip dresses, slide sandals, denim cutoffs, and chic shades these garments have officially begun their rotation. Bianca Nieves, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner's Favorite White Tank is Only $10," 3 July 2019 When a woman in a midriff-baring singlet top and cutoff shorts walked by, the men complained that any new rules should apply to everyone equally. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "A mainstay of the Chinese summer, the ‘Beijing Bikini,’ is under threat," 20 June 2019 Slip into a comfortable tee and denim cutoffs and accessorize with super fun pieces that support the cause to get your parade on. Seventeen, "How to Prep For Your First Pride Parade," 14 June 2019 The Democratic National Committee will use polling data to break ties between candidates who have met only one of the cutoffs and is expected to announce the lineup soon. Madeleine Joung, Time, "Here's Which Candidates Have Already Qualified for the Democratic Presidential Debate," 12 June 2019 The dispute centers on a program called Discovery, which by state law allows the city to offer specialized high-school spots to disadvantaged eighth-graders who miss the test-score cutoff and agree to summer tutoring. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "De Blasio Lawyers Say Change for Elite Schools Isn’t Biased Against Asian-Americans," 18 Jan. 2019 Officials have begun contingency planning to accelerate production in the event of a Chinese cutoff, Rosenthal said. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, "China hints it will choke off U.S. ‘rare earths’ access. But it’s not that easy.," 10 June 2019 There were new frayed denim cutoff shorts, kimono tops and jackets (including a standout beaded kimono jacket with a degradé print), djellabas, tasseled ponchos and robes and lots of straw Western hats. Ingrid Schmidt, The Hollywood Reporter, "Starry Crowd Gathers in Malibu for Saint Laurent's Mick Jagger-Inspired Men's Show," 7 June 2019 The model looked ready for the warm desert weather in a sheer lime and yellow shirt over a lacy bra, paired with light denim cutoffs. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Best Celebrity Looks From Coachella 2019 Weekend 1," 13 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some of the nest-making materials might have gotten tangled around its front leg, cutting off the blood supply to the limb. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "July 4th — The day we Bay Area-ites torture pets and wildlife with our fireworks," 3 July 2019 At about 36 feet, the Old Channel Road is underwater, cutting off the island from the mainland, and anything above 27 feet is considered flood stage. Patrick M. O'connell,, "Illinois’ first capital is an island that’s home to just 18 people. Recent flooding has made it even more isolated.," 3 July 2019 In the simplest sense, strokes occur when the blood supply to a particular region of the brain is interrupted, cutting off the area to oxygen and nutrients. Bret Stetka, Scientific American, "New Method for Tackling Stroke Restrains an Overactive Immune System," 2 July 2019 As the deterioration of the Everglades cut off the flow of clean water to Florida Bay decades ago, the first spoonbills started moving north to new territory. Anders Gyllenhaal,, "For one rare bird, flight from South Florida’s changing climate sparks a surprising revival," 29 June 2019 Come July 4, the Arlington Memorial Bridge, a major thoroughfare that was open in the past on the holiday, will be closed for the day, cutting off people trying to drive into the District from Arlington National Cemetery and other nearby points. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "Trump plans ticketed-access area for VIPs, friends and family at July 4 celebration," 28 June 2019 The graphic footage shows one of the men holding the shark on the side of the boat after cutting off the animal’s tail. Matt Mcnulty,, "Jason Momoa Slams Fishermen After They Cut Shark's Tail Off and Throw it Back in Viral Video," 4 June 2019 There is also a prohibition on routinely cutting off cows’ tails. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz,, "Videos of Fair Oaks Farms triggered outrage. But who polices how the dairy industry treats its cows?," 21 June 2019 The Eagles, the group that followed Rufus, came on just as the warm sun decided to move westward and plunge half the Stadium into shadows — cutting off a vital source of heat. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Oh dear, oh dear. The lads in blue are here': When Rolling Stones (and police) packed County Stadium," 19 June 2019

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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Statistics for cutoff

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cutoff

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on cutoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cutoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cutoff

Spanish Central: Translation of cutoff

Comments on cutoff

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