cut·​off | \ ˈkət-ˌȯf \

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b cutoffs plural : shorts originally made from jeans with the legs cut off at the knees or higher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


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

The second will hit 10 minutes prior to the cutoff. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Samsung will only allow free themes to be used for 14 days starting with Android 9 Pie update," 15 Nov. 2018 Israel has eased the blockade over time, but the cutoff of basic supplies like fuel still does significant humanitarian harm by restricting access to electricity, food, and medicine. Alex Ward, Vox, "Israel and Gaza just saw their worst violence in years. It could get worse.," 14 Nov. 2018 In other words, the actual Navier-Stokes equations are solved for motion on the medium and large scales, but, below some cutoff, a statistical or other model is substituted. Lee Phillips, Ars Technica, "Turbulence, the oldest unsolved problem in physics," 10 Oct. 2018 Although season seven of Game of Thrones aired in summer 2017, due to the Emmys’ eligibility cutoff, the HBO drama had to wait until this year to submit anything for consideration. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Game of Thrones' Lannisters Ruled Over the 2018 Emmy Nominations With an Iron Fist," 12 July 2018 The series’ pilot premiered on June 3, 2018, just a few days after the cutoff. Henry Youtt, Billboard, "Why 'Pose' Didn't Receive Any Emmy Award Nominations," 12 July 2018 There, too, judges older than the retirement cutoff could petition the minister of justice, who would effectively vet them. Monika Nalepa, Washington Post, "Poland may forcibly ‘retire’ dozens of Supreme Court justices," 10 July 2018 The Yankees, who are starved for starting pitching after a season-ending injury to Jordan Montgomery and amid the struggles of Sonny Gray, are believed to be enough below the $197 million cutoff to take on Hamels. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Hamels knows what it's like to be traded. Why this time is different as Rangers seek suitors," 1 July 2018 The 5,000th car was finished at roughly 5 a.m. Sunday morning, hours after the Saturday midnight cutoff for complete fulfillment of the rate Elon Musk has been promising for well over a year. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Tesla Seems to Have Finally Hit Its Goal of Producing 5,000 Model 3s in a Week," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ultimately the efforts at restraint failed to assuage the U.S. Senate, which rebuffed Trump administration appeals and voted this month to cut off U.S. support for the war. Dion Nissenbaum, WSJ, "Mattis, U.S. Commander Sought to Temper Saudi-Led War in Yemen," 31 Dec. 2018 Black women in particular have faced economic consequences for wearing their hair in natural styles, most famously Chastity Jones, an Alabama woman who in 2010 had a job offer rescinded for refusing to cut off her locs. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Bantu knots are the latest natural hairstyle at the center of a workplace dispute," 20 Dec. 2018 Working in 4 or 5 batches, squeeze 1-inch-long pieces of dough into oil, using knife or scissors to help cut off. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Hanukkah Honey Balls," 26 Nov. 2018 Dee was also prepared for the possibility of losing a little length, and Taylor ended up cutting off about two inches that didn't feel as healthy as the rest of the hair, leaving her with an adorable, wavy lob. Marci Robin, Allure, "How Colorist Rebecca Taylor Pulled Off This Stunning Transformation on a Client’s Stubborn Blue Hair," 6 Oct. 2018 Working with three species of silk moths—luna, African moon, and polyphemus—Rubin shortened or cut off some of their hindwings and glued longer or differently shaped tails to others. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Watch how battles with bats give moths their flashy tails," 4 July 2018 Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions. David Roper, idahostatesman, "Finding the virtues to put yourself right with the Lord," 21 June 2018 In previous years, coaches would have the tunes cut off following stretching, although Rivera said the change happened organically. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "Panthers' minicamp highlights: Ron Rivera weighs in on Dontari Poe; TE Chris Manhertz carted off," 13 June 2018 Six4Three, a developer of a fairly gross app that sorted through your Facebook friends’ photos to find pictures of them in their swimsuits, sued Facebook after the company cut off access to its API in 2015. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s morale problem is getting worse," 6 Dec. 2018

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

12 Jan 2019

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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

cutoffs : 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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someone who never drinks alcohol

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