cut

1 of 3

verb

cut; cutting

transitive verb

1
a
: to penetrate with or as if with an edged instrument
cut one's hand with a knife
b
: to hurt the feelings of
Her sarcasm cut him to the quick.
c
: to strike sharply with a cutting effect
cut him across the legs with a whip
d
: to strike (a ball) with a glancing blow that imparts a reverse spin
cut a tennis ball with an inclined racket
e
: to experience the growth of (a tooth) through the gum
The toddler is cutting a tooth.
f
: to harm (oneself) by making cuts or scratches on one's body
The reasons given for self-inflicted violence indicate that it is a way of relieving intolerable feelings. When cutting themselves, women (and sometimes men) report that they do not feel any pain.Deborah Feller
2
a
: trim, pare
cut one's nails
b
: to shorten by omissions
cut the manuscript
c
: dilute, adulterate
cut the whiskey with water
d
: to reduce in amount
cut costs
e
: to remove (something, such as text or a picture) from a computer document and place it on the clipboard so that it can be pasted into another position, document, or program
3
a
: mow, reap
cut hay
b(1)
: to divide into parts with an edged tool
cut bread
(2)
: fell, hew
cut timber
c(1)
: to separate or discharge from an organization
cut them from the team
(2)
: to single out and isolate
cut a calf out from the herd
d
: to turn sharply
The driver cut the steering wheel hard.
e
: to go or pass around or about : bypass
cut the checkout line
4
a
: to divide into segments
cut the cake
b
: intersect, cross
one line cutting another
c
: break, interrupt
cut our supply lines
d(1)
: to divide (a deck of cards) into two portions
(2)
: to draw (a card) from the deck
e
: to divide into shares : split
f
: analyze, break down
Any way you cut it, we won.
5
a
: to make by or as if by cutting: such as
(1)
: carve
cut stone
(2)
: to shape by grinding
cut a diamond
(3)
(4)
: to shear or hollow out
cut a groove
b(1)
: to sing, play, or act for the recording of
cut an album
cut a commercial
(2)
: to sing or play (a song, a track, etc.) for a studio recording
c
: to type on a stencil
d
: edit sense 1b
cut a motion picture
6
a
: stop, cease
cut the nonsense
b
: to refuse to recognize (an acquaintance)
They cut her dead at the party.
c
: to absent oneself from (something, such as a class)
d
: to stop (a motor) by opening a switch
e
: to stop the filming of (a motion-picture scene)
7
a
: to engage in (a frolicsome or mischievous action)
… on summer nights strange capers are cut under the thin guise of a Christian festival.Donald Culross Peattie
b
: to give the appearance or impression of
cut a fine figure
8
: to be able to manage or handle
usually used in negative constructions
can't cut that kind of work anymore
9
a
: to yield or accord to another : give
cut me some slack
b
: to fill out and sign (a check)

intransitive verb

1
a
: to function as or as if as an edged tool
This knife cuts well.
b
: to undergo incision or severance
The cheese cuts easily.
c
: to perform the operation of dividing, severing, incising, or intersecting
The tailor is busy cutting.
d
: to make a stroke with a whip, sword, or other weapon
e
: to wound feelings or sensibilities
remarks that cut
f
: to cause constriction or chafing
a coat that cuts at the armpits
g
: to be of effect, influence, or significance
an analysis that cuts deep
2
a(1)
: to divide a pack of cards especially in order to decide the deal or settle a bet
(2)
: to draw a card from the pack
b
: to divide spoils : split
3
a
: to proceed obliquely (see oblique entry 1 sense 1) from a straight course
cut across the yard
b
: to move swiftly
a yacht cutting through the water
c
: to describe an oblique or diagonal line
d
: to change sharply in direction : swerve
The driver cut across three lanes of traffic.
e
: to make an abrupt transition from one sound or image to another in motion pictures, radio, or television
The film cuts from the ballroom to the garden.
f
: to make a sudden transition or imaginative leap
The story cuts to 1917.
4
: to stop photographing motion pictures
The director yelled "Cut!"
5
: to advance by skipping or bypassing another
cut to the front of the line
6
: to engage in self-harm by making cuts or scratches on one's body
middle school students reporting they knew of several classmates who cut

cut

2 of 3

noun

1
: a product of cutting: such as
a(1)
: an opening made with an edged instrument
(2)
: a wound made by something sharp : gash
b
: a creek, channel, or inlet made by excavation or worn by natural action
c
: a surface or outline left by cutting
d
: a passage cut as a roadway
e
: a grade or step especially in a social scale
a cut above the ordinary
f
: a subset of a set such that when it is subtracted from the set the remainder is not connected
g
: a pictorial illustration
2
: the act or an instance of cutting: such as
a
: a gesture or expression that hurts the feelings
made an unkind cut
b
: a straight passage or course
c
: a stroke or blow with the edge of a knife or other edged tool
d
: a lash with or as if with a whip
e
: the act of reducing or removing a part
a cut in pay
f
: an act or turn of cutting cards
also : the result of cutting
g
: the elimination of part of a large field from further participation, consideration, or competition (as in a golf tournament)
often used with miss or make to denote respectively being or not being among those eliminated
played well and made the cut
3
: something that is cut or cut off: such as
a
: a length of cloth varying from 40 to 100 yards (36.6 to 91.4 meters)
b
: the yield of products cut especially during one harvest
c
: a segment or section of a meat carcass or a part of one
d
: a group of animals selected from a herd
e
: share
took his cut of the profits
4
: a voluntary absence from a class
5
a
: a stroke that cuts a ball
also : the spin imparted by such a stroke
b
: a swing by a batter at a pitched baseball
c
: an exchange of captures in checkers
6
: a result of editing: such as
a
: an abrupt transition from one sound or image to another in motion pictures, radio, or television
b
: an edited version of a film
7
a
: the shape and style in which a thing is cut, formed, or made
clothes of the latest cut
b
c

cut

3 of 3

adjective

: marked by a well-developed and highly defined musculature
cut abs
Phrases
cut a deal
: to negotiate an agreement
The band cut a deal with the recording company.
cut both ways
: to have both favorable and unfavorable results or implications
cut corners
: to perform some action in the quickest, easiest, or cheapest way
cut ice
: to be of importance
usually used in negative constructions
His opinion cuts no ice with me.
cut it
: to cut the mustard
cut loose
1
: to free from control or restraint
cut us loose from the contract
2
: to act without restraint
enjoyed cutting loose at nightclubs
cut one's teeth
: to learn, do, or perform as a beginning or at the start of one's career
an actress who cut her teeth on television
cut the mustard
: to achieve the standard of performance necessary for success
She tried to join the soccer team, but she couldn't cut the mustard.
cut to the chase
: to get to the point
She urged him to skip the details and cut to the chase.
cut of one's jib

Example Sentences

Verb cutting a piece of string He uses the ax to cut wood. The meat is so tender you can cut it with a fork. Cut along the dotted line. The saw easily cuts through metal. She cut into the melon with a knife. I cut myself while shaving. I had a cut finger. We were fighting, and he tried to cut me with his knife. Pieces of broken glass cut her face and arms. Noun Make a few small cuts in the crust to let the air escape. a two-inch cut in the cloth He came home covered in cuts and bruises. Further cuts in spending are needed. You'll have to make a few cuts in your manuscript if you want us to publish it. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The last big round of layoffs at Apple happened way back in 1997, when co-founder Steve Jobs returned to the company, which then cut costs by firing 4,100 employees. Aaron Tilley, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2023 That's the second round of recent layoffs for the company, which last year cut 9% of its workforce. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 20 Jan. 2023 But after the Crusaders cut the Golden Eagles' lead to 64-62 heading into the final minute, Diener delivered the shot of the game. Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 20 Jan. 2023 Genesis, one of FTX’s biggest lenders, had previously suspended withdrawals in November, and cut 30 percent of its staff earlier this month, BBC News reports. Mitchell Clark, The Verge, 20 Jan. 2023 The singer, who cut his teeth in Mott the Hoople, began work on the album in 2020, as lockdowns began, writing with producer and multi-instrumentalist Andy York. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 20 Jan. 2023 Indianapolis was one of the cities Megabus cut due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, 20 Jan. 2023 At least 59% of all tech jobs as of September were outside the tech sector itself, according to the industry group CompTIA, as a variety of other employers angle for more tech hires, including people cut from Silicon Valley firms. J.j. Mccorvey, NBC News, 20 Jan. 2023 This has become a central argument for countering pressures to end the war or cut its funding. Trita Parsi, The New Republic, 20 Jan. 2023
Noun
People come from all over the U.S. to play the beautiful fairways covered in one cut of Zoysia grass with no rough to endure. Brianna Griff, Chron, 16 Jan. 2023 Does Kevin Williamson get a cut of every Ghostface mask sold? Marlow Stern, Rolling Stone, 16 Jan. 2023 McCarthy has made a deal with conservatives that the next government funding bill will be held to fiscal 2022 levels, which means a substantial 8% cut of discretionary accounts — or more if the defense budget is spared. Lisa Mascaro, Chicago Tribune, 13 Jan. 2023 The Model Y now starts at $53,000, a cut of 20 percent from the previous price of $66,000. Neal E. Boudette, New York Times, 13 Jan. 2023 Adidas had planned to ask the jury for over $7.8 million in damages, plus additional punitive damages and a cut of Thom Browne's infringing sales, according to a court filing. Reuters, CNN, 12 Jan. 2023 Point-of-sale machines, too, can take a cut of tips, which irritates some users. Charlie Warzel, The Atlantic, 6 Jan. 2023 Paramount+ has released a three-hour looping cut of the beach-football scene from the hit film, which features Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Greg Tarzan Davis and more running around shirtless while tossing a ball. Jen Juneau, Peoplemag, 27 Dec. 2022 The company earns money by taking a cut of each ad placement — the higher the volume, the more Google makes. Craig Silverman, ProPublica, 21 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cut.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

Middle English cutten

First Known Use

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1990, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cut was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near cut

Cite this Entry

“Cut.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cut. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

cut

1 of 2 verb
cut; cutting
1
a
: to penetrate or divide with or as if with an edged tool (as a knife)
cut my finger
cutting and pasting colored paper
cut the pie
b
: to function as an edged tool
be careful—that glass will cut
this old knife won't cut anymore
c
: to be able to be cut
cheese cuts easily
d
: to harm (oneself) by making cuts or scratches on one's body
2
: to experience the growth of through the gum
the baby is cutting teeth
3
: to hurt the feelings of
the remark cut me
4
a
: trim entry 1 sense 3a
cut your hair
b
: mow entry 2 sense 1
cut the grass
c
: dissolve sense 2
a detergent cuts grease
5
: to make smaller
cut costs
6
: to remove with or as if with a knife
cut a piece of ham
cut two players from the team
7
: to remove (something) from a computer document in such a way that it can be moved to another part of the document or to another document
8
a
: to go straight rather than around
cut across the backyard
b
: intersect sense 1, cross
lines cutting other lines
c
: to make a quick change of direction
go out 10 steps, then cut right and I'll throw you a pass
the camera cuts to the crowd in the street
9
: to divide a deck of cards
10
: to cause to stop
cut the nonsense
cut the engine
11
: snub entry 1 sense 2
cut a former friend
12
: to fail to attend
cut a class
13
a
: to make or shape with or as if with an edged tool
farmers cut clearings out of the wilderness
cut a diamond
b
: to record sounds on
cut a record
14
: to give the appearance of
cuts a fine figure
15
: to advance by skipping or going around another
cut to the front of the line

cut

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: something cut or cut off
a cut of beef
b
: share entry 1 sense 1
your cut of the winnings
2
a
: a product of cutting
b
: a wound made by something sharp
c
: a passage made by cutting
a railroad cut
d
: a grade or step especially in a social scale
a cut above the ordinary
e
: a pictorial illustration
3
a
: an act or instance of cutting
b
: something done or said that hurts the feelings
an unkind cut
c
: an act of removing a part
a cut in pay
d
: an act or turn of cutting cards
it's your cut
4
: a voluntary absence from a class
5
: a swing by a batter at the ball
took a good cut
6
a
: a sudden switch from one sound or image to another in movies, radio, or television
b
: an edited version of a film
7
: the shape and style in which a thing is cut, formed, or made
clothes of the latest cut
8
: the act of reducing the size of a group (as of competitors) by removing the less skillful
played well and made the cut
9
: a recorded song

Medical Definition

cut

1 of 2 verb
cut; cutting

transitive verb

1
a
: to penetrate with or as if with an edged instrument
b
: to cut or operate on in surgery: as
(1)
: to subject (a domestic animal) to castration
(2)
: to perform lithotomy on
c
: to experience the emergence of (a tooth) through the gum
2
: to subject to trimming or paring
cut one's nails

intransitive verb

1
: to function as or in the manner of an edged tool
a knife that cuts well
2
: to cut in surgery : operate

cut

2 of 2 noun
1
: a product of cutting: as
a
: an opening made with an edged instrument
b
: a wound made by something sharp
2
: a stroke or blow with the edge of a sharp implement (as a knife)

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