cut·​ting | \ ˈkə-tiŋ How to pronounce cutting (audio) \
plural cuttings

Definition of cutting

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something cut or cut off or out: such as
a : a plant section originating from stem, leaf, or root and capable of developing into a new plant
2 : something made by cutting especially : record sense 4
3 : self-harm in which a person purposely cuts or scratches the skin She [a young woman identified as "Kristen"] took occasional advantage of college-offered therapy in her sophomore year but also continued to cut herself. "For me—and for all the other cutters I know—cutting isn't about self-esteem, it's about control," Kristin explained. "… Cutting can be—and was for me—a cry for help: 'Look at me—I hurt so much I'm bleeding—help me stop this pain!'— Barrett Seaman



Definition of cutting (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : given to or designed for cutting especially : sharp, edged
2 : marked by sharp piercing cold cutting winds
3 : inclined or likely to wound the feelings of others especially because of a ruthless incisiveness a cutting remark
4 : intense, piercing a cutting pain

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Other Words from cutting


cuttingly \ ˈkə-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce cuttingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for cutting

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

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Examples of cutting in a Sentence

Noun Take some cuttings from the plant and put them in water. a bag full of grass cuttings Adjective He made a cutting remark about my family, and I haven't spoken to him since. a frigid day with a cutting wind that made it seem even colder
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In the early 1990s, when the electric revolution was still a twinkle in Elon Musk's eye, the 10-cylinder engine stood at the cutting edge of powertrain tech. Noah Joseph, Car and Driver, "V-10, We Hardly Knew Ye," 17 May 2020 Whitehurst has been running a smaller but much faster growing company at the cutting edge of cloud migration, said Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst David Grossman. Olivia Carville,, "IBM’s New CEO Is Mastermind Behind Cloud Strategy," 8 May 2020 The number one cutting board Not all cutting boards are created equal. Amanda Tarlton, USA TODAY, "23 kitchen gadgets under $20 you'll actually use," 31 Oct. 2019 Davis also subjected the samples to other, more cutting-edge analysis techniques, such as scanning calorimetry to measure changes in temperature. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Here’s why “baking” damaged reel-to-reel tapes renders them playable again," 21 Apr. 2020 The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter represents the cutting edge of military technology and will enhance the Wing’s opportunities to continue their outstanding record of contributions to our national security. Mike Cason |, al, "Air Force finalizes choice of Alabama Air Guard unit for F-35 jets," 15 Apr. 2020 But in the age of Google and Facebook, these are now far from the cutting edge of information technology. Andrew Whitby, Wired, "A Brief History of the Census—and How Covid-19 Could Change It," 1 Apr. 2020 The school is at the cutting edge of a nationwide movement among colleges and universities. Tom Hindle, USA TODAY, "Cultivating baseball: Creating a new kind of major leaguer through college classes," 25 Jan. 2020 Piracha added that teaching requires professionals to remain up to date on the most cutting-edge research in their respective fields, meaning that adjunct faculty doctors and patients will benefit from the student-teacher dynamic as well. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Methodist Willowbrook partners with Texas A&M to become a teaching hospital," 24 Jan. 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for cutting

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cutting

Cite this Entry

“Cutting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for cutting


How to pronounce cutting (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cutting

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a stem, leaf, or root that is cut from a plant and used to grow a new plant



English Language Learners Definition of cutting (Entry 2 of 2)

: used for cutting things
: unpleasantly cold
: causing great physical pain


cut·​ting | \ ˈkə-tiŋ How to pronounce cutting (audio) \

Kids Definition of cutting

: a part (as a shoot) of a plant able to grow into a whole new plant

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More from Merriam-Webster on cutting

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cutting

Spanish Central: Translation of cutting

Nglish: Translation of cutting for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cutting for Arabic Speakers

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