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b cutoffs plural : shorts originally made from jeans with the legs cut off at the knees or higher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

University officials acknowledge that the cutoff of direct access to Elsevier journals will cause some inconvenience on UC campuses. Michael Hiltzik,, "In act of brinkmanship, a big publisher cuts off UC’s access to its academic journals," 11 July 2019 The study also doesn’t identify earnings cutoffs or shares of income for the different quintiles. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "Earnings in the U.S.: A Game of Chutes and Ladders," 14 June 2019 Not long ago, Edwards wouldn’t accept new players past a late-summer cutoff date. Ron Kroichick,, "Friday night flight: How football's decline is impacting high school sports," 13 Sep. 2019 The year 1948 was decreed to be the official cutoff date for refugees from Pakistan, including East Pakistan — now Bangladesh. Washington Post, "Citizenship list in Indian state sparks fears for millions," 30 Aug. 2019 Since the survey’s cutoff date in mid-June, the trade outlook has improved somewhat. Harriet Torry, WSJ, "Consumer Confidence Slid in June on Trade Tensions," 25 June 2019 The cutoff for eligibility is much higher for children and pregnant women. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ascension Wisconsin to provide free medical exams, dental care Saturday at North Division High School," 13 Sep. 2019 The particular polling average the DNC will use to determine this cutoff isn’t clear, but the candidates who are close to polling at that level nationally are Biden, Sanders, Harris, Warren, Buttigieg, O’Rourke, Booker, and perhaps Klobuchar. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The first Democratic debate qualification rules — and controversies — explained," 12 June 2019 On Friday, following a report in The Wall Street Journal, Facebook confirmed that some companies, including the Royal Bank of Canada, were offered extended access to friends’ data beyond the 2015 cutoff point for all other developers. Deepa Seetharaman, WSJ, "Top Facebook Strategist to Step Down," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Congress voted in April to cut off military support for Saudi Arabia over the Yemen war, legislation Trump vetoed. Josh Wingrove,, "Trump's Suggestion of Iran Strike Raises Bipartisan Alarm," 16 Sep. 2019 Efforts to cut off people who are addicted risk sending them onto the black market for supplies. The Economist, "Legal settlements alone will not solve America’s opioid crisis," 29 Aug. 2019 Oh When the Spurs Go Marching in’ only to be cut off by the defence switching off for a couple of seconds and Tottenham going behind., "Tottenham: Fans Must Trust That Mauricio Pochettino Can Fix Fractured System," 26 Aug. 2019 Some customers have complained SDG&E is too quick to cut off power, and others have said the shutoffs appear to be random. Rob Nikolewski, Ramona Sentinel, "SDG&E ramps up fire safety efforts," 19 Aug. 2019 To put pressure on South Korea, Japan has chosen to cut off Seoul’s access to vital elements used to make the advanced microelectronic devices at the heart of South Korea’s thriving, modern economy. Taylor Dinerman, National Review, "The Ongoing Japan–South Korea Spat Could Threaten U.S. and Regional Security," 7 Aug. 2019 Some customers have complained SDG&E is too quick to cut off power and others have said the shutoffs appear to be random. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ahead of peak wildfire season, SDG&E and local officials ramp up safety efforts," 7 Aug. 2019 The judge said Oliver had received lots of support through her probation officer to leave behind her old life but didn’t follow court orders to cut off contact with her boyfriend., "Mom who left her kids at MAX station to go drinking heads to prison for violating probation within days of conviction," 24 July 2019 The broken 42-inch pipe had forced the city to cut off access to running water Thursday during a hot summer day. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "Fort Lauderdale gets water back, but another loss of service is 'very possible'," 19 July 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

19 Oct 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
: short pants that are made from long pants by cutting off the legs at the knees or higher

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

What made you want to look up cutoff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


involving a confidence or trust

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