Definition of “cut” - English Dictionary

“cut” in English

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uk /kʌt/ us /kʌt/ present participle cutting, past tense and past participle cut

cut verb (USE KNIFE)

A2 [ I or T ] to break the surface of something, or to divide or make something smaller, using a sharp tool, especially a knife:

to cut a slice of bread
I cut myself/my hand on that glass/with that knife.
Cut the meat up into small pieces.
This knife doesn't cut very well.
Where did you have your hair cut?
[ + obj + adj ] Firefighters had to cut the trapped driver loose/free (= cut the metal to allow the driver to get out of the car) using special equipment.
He fell off the swing and cut his head open (= got a deep cut in his head).
He cut the cake in/into six (pieces) and gave each child a slice.

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cut verb (REMOVE)

B2 [ T ] to remove something from something else:

The sex scenes had been cut out of the TV version of the film.
cut and paste

to move words or pictures from one place to another in a computer document

cut sb out of your will

to decide not to leave someone any of your money or possessions when you die

More examples

cut verb (STOP)

[ I or T ] to stop or interrupt something:

to cut an engine/a motor
"Cut! (= stop filming!)" shouted the director.
cut sb short

to stop someone from talking before they have finished what they were saying:

He started to explain, but she cut him short.
cut it/that out! informal

used to tell someone to stop talking or stop behaving in an annoying way:

Just cut it out! I've had enough of your time wasting.

cut verb (GROW TEETH)

cut a tooth

(of a baby) to grow a new tooth:

The baby's cutting a tooth. That's why she's crying.


uk /kʌt/ us /kʌt/

cut noun (STYLE)

[ S ] the shape into which something is cut:

I don't like the cut of these jeans.

cut noun (SHARE)

[ S ] informal a share of something, usually money:

When am I going to get my cut?

(Definition of “cut” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“cut” in American English

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us /kʌt/ present participle cutting, past tense and past participle cut

cut verb (DIVIDE)

[ I/T ] to use a sharp tool such as a knife to break the surface of something, divide something, or make something smaller:

[ T ] Cut the apple in half.
[ T ] She wanted to have her hair cut (= made shorter).
[ M ] We had to cut two trees down (= remove them) to make room for the swimming pool.
[ M ] The children cut the pictures out (= removed them by cutting) and stuck them in their scrapbooks.

[ I/T ] A person who is cut is injured by something sharp that breaks the skin and causes bleeding:

[ T ] I stepped on a piece of glass and cut my foot.

cut verb (REDUCE)

[ T ] to make less in size, amount, length, etc.:

We’ve got to cut costs.
The original movie was almost four hours long, but it was later cut to two hours.

cut verb (MISS)

[ T ] to stay away from a class, talk, performance, etc., that you have a duty to go to:

He was cutting classes and getting failing grades.

cut verb (STOP)

[ I/T ] to stop or interrupt something, or to stop working suddenly or cause this to happen:

[ T ] Because of failing grades, he was cut (= released) from the team.
[ I ] “Cut! (= Stop filming!)shouted the director.

cut verb (GROW TEETH)

[ T ] to grow a new tooth:

The baby was cranky last night because she’s cutting a tooth.

cut verb (CROSS)

[ I always + adv/prep ] to go through or across a place, esp. in order to get somewhere quickly:

To get to school I cut through the field.

cut verb (CARDS)

[ I/T ] to divide a pile of cards into two parts:

[ I/T ] Who’s going to cut (the cards)?

cut verb (RECORD)

[ T ] to make a recording of music or speech on a record:

When did Elvis cut his first record?
cut across something phrasal verb

to include several things that usually are separated from each other:

Iron deficiency in women cuts across all socioeconomic levels.
cut back (something) phrasal verb [ M ]

to reduce or stop:

He was advised to cut back on sugary sodas.
Cancel the service, or cut it back to “basic.”
cut down (something) phrasal verb [ M ]

to reduce something in amount, size, or number of times repeated:

I’ve decided to cut down on snacks.
Seat belts have cut down the number of injuries in car accidents.
cut in phrasal verb

cut verb (INTERRUPT)

to interrupt someone who is talking:

I was talking to Jeff when Amy cut in.
cut someone in phrasal verb [ M ]

to include someone in a plan, activity, or process:

Next time you get free concert tickets, cut me in.
cut off something/someone phrasal verb [ M ]

cut verb (STOP)

to stop or interrupt something suddenly, or to stop someone from speaking:

We were cut off in the middle of our phone conversation.
cut off someone/something phrasal verb [ M ]

cut verb (DRIVE)

(of a driver or vehicle) to move suddenly in front of another driver or vehicle, leaving too little space:

He claimed that a truck had cut him off just before the accident.
cut someone out phrasal verb [ M ]

to keep someone from taking part in a plan, activity, or process:

Some critics say the proposed amendment is effectively cutting others out of the planning process.
cut out for something phrasal verb

to be the right type of person for a particular job or activity:

He’s just not cut out for politics.
cut something short phrasal verb [ M ]

to stop something suddenly before it is completed:

We cut short our vacation when we learned of my mother’s illness.
cut through something phrasal verb

to understand something that is not easy to understand:

She can cut through the confusing statistics and get at the important facts.

cutnoun [ C ]

us /kʌt/

cut noun [ C ] (REDUCTION)

a reduction in the size, amount, length, etc., of something:

Many workers had to take a cut in pay.
For the TV version, they made several cuts in the movie.

cut noun [ C ] (SOMETHING DIVIDED)

something made by cutting:

She went to the butcher’s to get a good cut of meat.

A cut is an injury to the skin made by a sharp object:

She had a nasty cut on her hand.

A cut is also the particular way clothing looks:

the cut of a suit

infml A cut is also a share:

I was part-owner of the business, and when my sister sold it, I said I wanted my cut.

cutadjective [ not gradable ]

us /kʌt/

cut adjective [ not gradable ] (DIVIDED)

(of flowers) removed from their roots by being cut through their stems so they can be used for decoration:

These cut flowers will last three days in fresh water.

(Definition of “cut” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“cut” in Business English

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cutverb [ T ]

uk /kʌt/ us cutting, cut, cut

to make something lower, smaller, shorter, etc.:

cut sth (from sth) (to sth) We have cut our wage bill from £12,000 to £8,000 per week.
cut sth (from sth) We need to cut 50% from our advertising budget.
cut sth (by sth) The manufacturing group aims to cut its carbon emissions by 20% over the next five years.
cut jobs/staff/the workforce Schmitz Chemicals plans to cut 20,000 jobs worldwide.
See also

to remove something from a document, especially from a document on a computer screen:

The report is too long – I need to cut 500 words.
I'll cut and paste some photos from our online catalogue into my presentation.
cut a deal

to reach an agreement:

The carmaker has cut a deal with unions to limit pay rises.
cut both/two ways

to work in two ways, or to have two opposite effects:

Setting prices high cuts both ways – it could lose some customers, but it also suggests high-quality.
cut corners

to do something in a way that saves time or money, but that reduces quality:

If a restaurant cuts corners on ingredients, it will lose customers.
cut it informal

to successfully do what you are asked to do:

Some people work well under pressure; others can't cut it.
For heavy office use, this printer just doesn't cut it.
cut it/things fine informal

to leave very little, or not enough, time to do something:

It's two o'clock now, so you're cutting it fine if you need to be at the airport by three.
cut your losses

to avoid losing any more money than you have already lost:

The manufacturer has decided to cut its losses and sell its unprofitable divisions.

cutnoun [ C ]

uk /kʌt/ us

a reduction in the amount or level of something:

a 0.25% cut in interest rates
The supermarket is expected to make drastic job cuts to its 9,000-strong workforce.
big/deep/swingeing, etc. cuts There will need to be big cuts in public spending.
price/spending/tax, etc. cuts
job/pay/wage, etc. cuts
make/propose/threaten, etc. cuts The industry regulator announced that it is proposing price cuts of at least 7%.

informal a share in an amount of money:

If you make a profit on the deal, I'll expect a cut.

(Definition of “cut” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)