Pronunciation Verb

cut (cuts, present participle cutting; past and past participle cut)

  1. (heading, transitive) To incise, to cut into the surface of something.
    1. To perform an incision on, for example with a knife.
      • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene i]:
        You must cut this flesh from off his breast.
    2. To divide with a knife, scissors, or another sharp instrument.
      Would you please cut the cake?
      • 1725, Homer; [Alexander Pope], transl., “Book III”, in The Odyssey of Homer. […], volume I, London: Printed for Bernard Lintot, OCLC 8736646 ↗:
        Before the whistling winds the vessels fly, / With rapid swiftness cut the liquid way.
    3. To form or shape by cutting.
      I have three diamonds to cut today.
      • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
        Why should a man, whose blood is warm within, / Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster
      • 1667, John Milton, “Book 8”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
        loopholes cut through thickest shade
    4. (slang) To wound with a knife.
      • 1990, Stephen Dobyns, The house on Alexandrine
        We don't want your money no more. We just going to cut you.
    5. (intransitive) To engage in self-harm by making cuts in one's own skin.
      The patient said she had been cutting since the age of thirteen.
    6. To deliver a stroke with a whip or like instrument to.
      • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter IV, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803 ↗:
        “My Continental prominence is improving,” I commented dryly. ¶ Von Lindowe cut at a furze bush with his silver-mounted rattan. ¶ “Quite so,” he said as dryly, his hand at his mustache. “I may say if your intentions were known your life would not be worth a curse.”
    7. To wound or hurt deeply the sensibilities of; to pierce.
      Sarcasm cuts to the quick.
      • 1829, Elijah Hoole, Personal Narrative of a Mission to the South of India, from 1820 to 1828
        she feared she should laugh to hear an European preach in Tamul , but on the contrary , was cut to the heart by what she heard
    8. To castrate or geld.
      to cut a horse
    9. To interfere, as a horse; to strike one foot against the opposite foot or ankle in using the legs.
  2. (intransitive) To admit of incision or severance; to yield to a cutting instrument.
    • 1858, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, The Deacon's Masterpiece, in Chapter XI:
      The panels of white-wood that cuts like cheese, / But lasts like iron for things like these;
  3. (transitive, heading, social) To separate, remove, reject or reduce.
    1. To separate from prior association; to remove a portion of a recording during editing.
      Travis was cut from the team.
    2. To abridge a piece of printed or written work.
    3. To reduce, especially intentionally.
      They're going to cut salaries by fifteen percent.
    4. To absent oneself from (a class, an appointment, etc.).
      I cut fifth period to hang out with Angela.
      • An English tradesman is always solicitous to cut the shop whenever he can do so with impunity.
    5. To ignore as a social snub.
      • 1903, Samuel Barber, The Way of All Flesh, ch 73:
        The ordeal is a painful one, but if a man's moral and intellectual constitution are naturally sound, there is nothing which will give him so much strength of character as having been well cut.
      After the incident at the dinner party, people started to cut him on the street.
  4. (intransitive, cinema, audio, usually as imperative) To cease recording activities.
    After the actors read their lines, the director yelled, "Cut!"
  5. (intransitive, cinema) To make an abrupt transition from one scene or image to another.
    The camera then cut to the woman on the front row who was clearly overcome and crying tears of joy.
  6. (transitive, film) To edit a film by selecting takes from original footage.
  7. (transitive, computing) To remove and place in memory for later use.
    Select the text, cut it, and then paste it in the other application.
  8. (intransitive) To enter a queue in the wrong place.
    One student kept trying to cut in front of the line.
  9. (intransitive) To intersect or cross in such a way as to divide in half or nearly so.
    This road cuts right through downtown.
  10. (transitive, cricket) To make the ball spin sideways by running one's fingers down the side of the ball while bowling it.
  11. (transitive, cricket) To deflect (a bowled ball) to the off, with a chopping movement of the bat.
  12. (intransitive) To change direction suddenly.
    The football player cut to his left to evade a tackle.
  13. (transitive, intransitive) To divide a pack of playing cards into two.
    If you cut then I'll deal.
  14. (transitive, slang) To write.
    cut orders;  cut a check
  15. (transitive, slang) To dilute or adulterate something, especially a recreational drug.
    The best malt whiskies are improved if they are cut with a dash of water.
    The bartender cuts his beer to save money and now it's all watery.
    Drug dealers sometimes cut cocaine with lidocaine.
  16. (transitive) To exhibit (a quality).
  17. (transitive) To stop or disengage.
    Cut the engines when the plane comes to a halt!
  18. (sports) To drive (a ball) to one side, as by (in billiards or croquet) hitting it fine with another ball, or (in tennis) striking it with the racket inclined.
  19. (bodybuilding) To lose body mass after bulking, aiming to keep the additional muscle but lose the fat.
  20. To perform (a dancing movement etc.).
    to cut a caper
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: talhar
  • Russian: выреза́ть
  • Spanish: tallar
Translations Translations Translations Adjective


  1. (participial adjective) Having been cut.
  2. Reduced.
    The pitcher threw a cut fastball that was slower than his usual pitch.
    Cut brandy is a liquor made of brandy and hard grain liquor.
  3. Omitted from a literary, musical or other work.
    My favourite song had been cut from the show.
  4. (of a gem) Carved into a shape; not raw.
  5. (cricket, of a shot) Played with a horizontal bat to hit the ball backward of point.
  6. (bodybuilding) Having muscular definition in which individual groups of muscle fibers stand out among larger muscles.
    • 1988, Steve Holman, "Christian Conquers Columbus", Ironman 47 (6): 28-34.
      Or how 'bout Shane DiMora? Could he possibly get rip-roaring cut this time around?
    • 2010, Bill Geiger, "6-pack Abs in 9 Weeks", Reps! 17:106
      That's the premise of the overload principle, and it must be applied, even to ab training, if you're going to develop a cut, ripped midsection.
  7. (informal) Circumcised or having been the subject of female genital mutilation
  8. (Australia, NZ, slang) Emotionally hurt.
  9. Eliminated from consideration during a recruitment drive.
  10. Removed from a team roster.
  11. (NZ) Intoxicated as a result of drugs or alcohol.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun


  1. The act of cutting.
    He made a fine cut with his sword.
  2. The result of cutting.
    a smooth or clear cut
  3. An opening resulting from cutting; an incision or wound.
    Look at this cut on my finger!
  4. A notch, passage, or channel made by cutting or digging; a furrow; a groove.
    a cut for a railroad
    • This great cut or ditch Secostris […] purposed to have made a great deal wider and deeper.
    1. An artificial navigation as distinguished from a navigable river
  5. A share or portion.
    The lawyer took a cut of the profits.
  6. (cricket) A batsman's shot played with a swinging motion of the bat, to hit the ball backward of point.
  7. (cricket) Sideways movement of the ball through the air caused by a fast bowler imparting spin to the ball.
  8. (sports) In lawn tennis, etc., a slanting stroke causing the ball to spin and bound irregularly; also, the spin thus given to the ball.
  9. (golf) In a strokeplay competition, the early elimination of those players who have not then attained a preannounced score, so that the rest of the competition is less pressed for time and more entertaining for spectators.
  10. (theatre) A passage omitted or to be omitted from a play.
    The director asked the cast to note down the following cuts.
  11. (cinema) A particular version or edit of a film.
  12. (card games) The act or right of dividing a deck of playing cards.
    The player next to the dealer makes a cut by placing the bottom half on top.
  13. (card games) The card obtained by dividing the pack.
  14. The manner or style a garment etc. is fashioned in.
    I like the cut of that suit.
    • c. 1598–1600, William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene vii]:
      with eyes severe and beard of formal cut
  15. A slab, especially of meat.
    That’s our finest cut of meat.
  16. (fencing) An attack made with a chopping motion of the blade, landing with its edge or point.
  17. A deliberate snub, typically a refusal to return a bow or other acknowledgement of acquaintance.
    • 1819, Washington Irving, s Rip Van Winkle
      Rip called him by name, but the cur snarled, showed his teeth, and passed on. This was an unkind cut indeed.
  18. An unkind act; a cruelty.
  19. A definable part, such as an individual song, of a recording, particularly of commercial records, audio tapes, CDs, etc.
    The drummer on the last cut of their CD is not identified.
  20. (archaeology) A truncation, a context that represents a moment in time when other archaeological deposits were removed for the creation of some feature such as a ditch or pit.
  21. A haircut.
  22. (graph theory) The partition of a graph’s vertices into two subgroups.
  23. A string of railway cars coupled together.
  24. An engraved block or plate; the impression from such an engraving.
    a book illustrated with fine cuts
  25. (obsolete) A common workhorse; a gelding.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Francis Beaumont; John Fletcher, “The Two Noble Kinsmen”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, OCLC 3083972 ↗, Act 3, scene 4:
      He's buy me a cut, forth for to ride.
  26. (slang, dated) The failure of a college officer or student to be present at any appointed exercise.
  27. A skein of yarn.
  28. (slang, uncountable) That which is used to dilute or adulterate a recreational drug.
    Don't buy his coke: it's full of cut.
  29. (fashion) A notch shaved into an eyebrow.
  30. (bodybuilding) A time period when one tries to lose fat while retaining muscle mass.
  31. (slang) A hidden or secure place.
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