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b cutoffs plural : shorts originally made from jeans with the legs cut off at the knees or higher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 Gwen fit right in at the country concert, wearing cutoff jean shorts and a matching denim jacket. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Gwen Stefani's Bedazzled Fringe Jacket Had a Hidden Message About Blake Shelton," 9 Mar. 2020 The House of Delegates on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that would allow school districts to extend the school year five days beyond Hogan’s June 15 cutoff, without receiving a waiver from the state Board of Education. Washington Post, "Maryland General Assembly moves to give flexibility to local school districts creating school calendars," 29 Mar. 2018 Degas’ nonidealized view of the opera is characterized by unconventional twists like decentered compositions, plunging diagonals, and cutoff figures. Carol Strickland, The Christian Science Monitor, "Degas painted dancers and musicians with deftness and authority," 4 May 2020 Relationships with beloved grandchildren have been radically changed and even cutoff. oregonlive, "Oregon seniors feel sting of being cut off from grandchildren as coronavirus crisis drags on," 27 Apr. 2020 Under the drought deal, the farmers are now in line for a full cutoff of CAP water supplies as many as seven years earlier. Ian James, azcentral, "Facing water cutbacks, Arizona farmers 'in limbo' despite $10 million federal pledge," 24 Apr. 2020 Those early days of the epidemic illustrated the strengths and weaknesses of the WHO, an arm of the United Nations that is now under fire by President Trump, who on Tuesday ordered a cutoff of US funding to the organization., "WHO, now Trump’s scapegoat, warned about coronavirus early and often," 16 Apr. 2020 This storm was a cutoff low that came down the coast and tapped into some subtropical moisture. Los Angeles Times, "Among the ‘climate monsters’ that afflict California, Megadrought is the most reliable," 16 Apr. 2020 Those early days of the epidemic illustrated the strengths and weaknesses of the W.H.O., an arm of the United Nations that is now under fire by President Trump, who on Tuesday ordered a cutoff of American funding to the organization. New York Times, "W.H.O., Now Trump’s Scapegoat, Warned About Coronavirus Early and Often," 16 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If an officer is fired, the pay is cut off immediately. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Barrett calls for Milwaukee police chief to fire officer charged with homicide," 20 May 2020 Alisha Hawkins is at high-risk for coronavirus complications, but her immediate fear is that her power will be cut off. al, "Alabama leaves decision to utilities: When to cut off power for late bills in pandemic," 17 May 2020 One bar and grill in Arizona told the WSJ cutting off its cable plan is saving the business $1,600 per month. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Shuttered restaurants, bars, hotels speed up TV cord-cutting even more," 11 May 2020 Lopez suggested other factors could contribute to Englewood’s high infection rates, noting that many residents are cut off from public services, leaving them at higher risk of health problems. Haru Coryne, ProPublica, "In Chicago, Urban Density May Not Be to Blame for the Spread of the Coronavirus," 30 Apr. 2020 While many business managers used to advise holding off on forming a loan-out until income topped $250,000 or more, which is well above the stimulus cut off, the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowered that bar. Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter, "Paycheck Protection Program Guidance Issued as $321B More Loan Funds Become Available," 23 Apr. 2020 The airline industry has been hit hard by the spread of COVID-19 with many people cancelling travel plans and countries introducing travel bans, including the U.S. cutting off travel from Europe. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, "Emirates Administers Blood Tests for Coronavirus to Passengers Ahead of Flight," 16 Apr. 2020 Philanthropists like Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg joined European and African leaders and health specialists who lined up behind the WHO or insisted the United States shouldn’t cut off funding at such a critical time. Jamey Keaten,, "WHO, world leaders lament Trump cut to US funding," 15 Apr. 2020 By starving pathogens of hosts to infect, immune individuals cut off the chain of transmission, bolstering the health of the entire population. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Scientists Know About Immunity to the Novel Coronavirus," 30 Mar. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cutoff

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cutoff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for cutoff


How to pronounce cut off (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cutoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cutoff

Spanish Central: Translation of cutoff

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