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 cutting (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 Tesla has largely appealed to high-income luxury car buyers, and early adopters — consumers who delight in owning the latest, most cutting-edge technology. New York Times, "Tesla Might Finally Have Some Competition. From Ford.," 15 Jan. 2021 Of course, game publishers could be helped by further adoption of the new Xbox and PlayStation consoles, which will raise demand for games designed to take advantage of their cutting-edge capabilities. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Videogames’ Immunity Boost Might Linger," 4 Jan. 2021 Still, even the most cutting-edge tools can’t track memory formation this closely in live animals, so scientists can’t observe human memory formation as closely. Quanta Magazine, "Brain Cell DNA Refolds Itself to Aid Memory Recall," 2 Nov. 2020 But just like today, some of the most cutting-edge technology went into the parlor tricks and spooky sounds that fueled magic tricks and optical illusions at the time. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Insane Patent of the Week: This Animatronic Skeleton Interrogator from 1930," 1 Oct. 2020 The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium draws thousands of physicians, researchers and academics from across the globe to the Convention Center each December for discussions and presentations on the specialty’s most cutting-edge research. Lauren Caruba,, "Breast cancer symposium, one of San Antonio’s largest annual conferences, to go virtual due to coronavirus," 7 Sep. 2020 The country is now home to some of the most cutting-edge expertise for producing them and exports those technologies around the world, including to the U.S. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "We Can’t Fight Climate Change Without China," 12 Aug. 2020 Whether or not someone is conscious, and what that term means, threads through our society from the most cutting-edge science to simple legal questions of human rights. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Elon Musk: Starship Will 'Protect the Light of Consciousness'," 3 June 2020 Giant, experimental reactors like ITER have the potential to completely change energy, but that project uses the most cutting-edge research from around the world. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "These Tiny Neutron Generators Could Pave the Way for Fusion," 17 June 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 24 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on cutting

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