From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishcutcut1 /kʌt/ ●●● S1 W1 verb (past tense and past participle cut, present participle cutting) 1 REDUCE PRICES/TIME/MONEY ETCreduce [transitive]REDUCE to reduce the amount of something They’re introducing CCTV cameras in an attempt to cut street crime in the area. You need to cut the amount of fat and sugar in your diet. Scientists are warning that unless carbon emissions are cut, we could be heading for an environmental catastrophe. Seven hundred jobs will be lost in order to cut costs and boost profits. The major aviation companies need to cut prices if they are to compete with budget airlines.cut something by £1 million/$5 billion/half etc The welfare budget has been cut by $56 billion.cut something off something A new direct service will cut two hours off the flying time between London and Seoul. Staffing levels had already been cut to the bone (=reduced to the lowest level possible).► see thesaurus at reduce2 DIVIDE WITH KNIFE ETCdivide something with a knife, scissors etc [intransitive, transitive]CUT to divide something or separate something from its main part, using scissors, a knife etc Do you want me to cut the cake? The telephone wires had been cut minutes before the assault.cut something with something Jane cut the cord with a knife.cut somebody something Can you cut me a piece of bread, please?cut along/across/round etc Using a pair of scissors, cut carefully along the dotted lines.cut through We’ll need a saw that will cut through metal.cut something in half/in two Cut the orange in half.cut something into slices/chunks/pieces etc (=make something into a particular shape by cutting) Cut the carrots into thin strips.cut something to size/length (=cut something so that it is the size you need) The curtain pole can be cut to length. → cut out, cut up3 GRASS/HAIR ETCmake something shorter with a knife etc [transitive]CUT to make something shorter with a knife, scissors etc, especially in order to make it neater For reasons of hygiene, we had to cut our fingernails really short.cut the lawn/grass/hedge etc From outside came the sound of someone cutting the hedge.have/get your hair cut It’s about time you got your hair cut.4 remove parts from film etc [transitive] to remove parts from a film, book, speech etc, for example because it is too long or might offend people The original version was cut by more than 30 minutes.► see thesaurus at remove5 MAKE A SHAPEmake a hole/mark [intransitive, transitive]CUT to make a hole or mark in the surface of something, or to open it using a sharp toolcut into The blade cut deep into the wood.cut something into something Strange letters had been cut into the stone. Cut a hole in the middle of the paper. Cut open the chillies and remove the seeds.6 WOUNDinjure [transitive]CUT to injure yourself on something sharp that breaks the skin and makes you bleedcut your finger/knee/hand etc I noticed he’d cut his finger quite badly.cut yourself (on something) Marcie said she’d cut herself on a broken glass. That knife’s extremely sharp! Mind you don’t cut yourself. On Eric’s chin was a scrap of cotton wool where he’d cut himself shaving. She fell and cut her head open.7 make/form something by cutting [transitive] to make or form something from a solid piece of wood, metal etc using a sharp tool I’ll get a spare key cut for you.cut something from something The chair had been cut from the trunk of a tree.8 ESCAPElet somebody get free [transitive] to cut something such as metal or rope in order to let someone escape from where they are trappedcut somebody from something She had to be cut from the wreckage of her car. He was in the vehicle for an hour before he was cut free.9 tool/material [intransitive] if a tool cuts well, badly etc, it cuts things well or badly etc professional quality tools that cut efficiently and smoothly10 clothes [transitive] if a piece of clothing is cut in a particular way, that is the way it is designed and made The T-shirt is cut fairly low at the neck. Grammar Cut is usually passive in this meaning.11 on computer [intransitive, transitive] to remove something from a document or file on a computer To cut text, press Control + C. Cut and paste the picture into a new file (=remove it and then make it appear in a new file).12 go a quick way [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to get to somewhere by a quicker and more direct way than the usual way → shortcutcut through/down/across etc I usually cut through the car park to get to work. Let’s cut across the field.13 DIVIDE AN AREAdivide an area [intransitive, transitive]SEPARATE to divide an area into two or more partscut something in/into something The river cuts the whole region in two.cut through The new road will cut through a conservation area.14 PLAYING CARDSplaying cards [intransitive, transitive]DGC to divide a pack of cards into two First cut the pack, and then deal the cards15 MUSIC/RECORDmusic [transitive]APM to produce a CD, song etc for people to buy The band cut their first single in 2001.16 CROPScrops [transitive]CUT to take the top part off crops such as wheat before gathering them17 → cut a deal18 → cut (somebody) a check19 → cut!20 film a) [transitive] to put the parts of a film together so that they make a continuous story, and get rid of the parts you do not want b) [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] in a film, if the camera cuts away or cuts to a different scene, the scene on the screen changes to a different one At the crucial moment, the camera cuts away and we don't see the murder. The shark is shown moving through the water and then we cut to a shot of the beach. 21 → cut in line22 → cut class/school23 → cut your teeth (on something)24 → cut corners25 → cut something short26 → cut somebody short27 → cut the ...28 → cut somebody dead29 → cut your losses30 LINEline [transitive]HM if a line cuts another line, they cross each other at a particular point31 TOOTHtoothDHB [transitive] if a baby cuts a tooth, the tooth starts to grow32 → cut somebody to the quick/bone33 → cut to the chase34 → cut a fine/strange etc figure35 → cut your own throat36 → (it) cuts both ways37 → cut the ground from under somebody’s feet38 → cut and run39 → cut no ice/not cut much ice40 → cut the (umbilical) cord41 → not cut the mustard42 ILLEGAL DRUGdrugs [transitive]MDD to mix an illegal drug such as heroin with another substance Grammar Cut is often passive in this meaning.43 → cut your coat according to your cloth44 → to cut a long story short45 → cut it/things fine46 → not cut it47 → cut a swathe through something48 → you could cut the atmosphere with a knifeCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: to reduce the amount of somethingnounscut costs (=reduce the amount you spend running a business, a home etc)They cut costs by getting rid of staff.cut pricesShops have been forced to cut their prices after very slow sales.cut taxes/ratesThe government is expected to cut interest rates next month.cut spending/borrowingIn the 1990s, governments worldwide cut military spending.cut jobsThe bank announced that it was cutting 500 jobs.cut crimeCameras have helped to cut crime in the town centre.adverbssharply/severely/drastically (=cut a lot)Housing benefit was sharply cut for all but the poorest people.phrasescut something to the bone (=reduce it to the lowest level possible)Funding for art and music in schools has been cut to the bone.THESAURUScut to divide something into two or more pieces, especially using a knife or scissorsDo you want me to cut the cake?He cut off the lower branches.snip to quickly cut something, especially using scissorsI snipped the label off.The hairdresser snipped away at her hair.slit to make a long narrow cut through something, especially using a knifeHe slit the envelope open with a penknife. She slit through the plastic covering.slash to cut something quickly and violently with a knife, making a long thin cutSomeone had slashed the tyres on his car.He tried to slash his wrists.saw to cut wood, using a saw (=a tool with a row of sharp points)Saw the wood to the correct length.chop to cut wood, vegetables, or meat into piecesBill was outside chopping up firewood with an axe.They chopped down the old tree.finely chopped onionslice to cut bread, meat, or vegetables into thin piecesI’ll slice the cucumber.Slice the bread thinly.dice to cut vegetables or meat into small square piecesFirst dice the apple into cubes.grate to cut cheese or a hard vegetable by rubbing it against a special toolGrate the cheese and sprinkle it over the vegetables.peel to cut the outside part off something such as a potato or appleI peeled the potatoes and put them in a saucepan.carve to cut thin pieces from a large piece of meatUncle Ray carved the turkey.mow to cut the grass in a garden, park etcA gardener was mowing the lawn.trim (also clip) to cut a small amount off something, especially to make it look neaterHe was trimming his beard.Trim the excess fat off the meat.COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: to divide something or separate something from its main part, using scissors, a knife etcphrasescut somebody a piece/slice of somethingShall I cut you a slice of cake?cut something in half/two (=into two pieces)Cut the tomatoes in half.cut something into pieces/slices/chunks etcNext cut the carrots into thin slices.cut something to size/length (=so that it is the size/length you need)The place where I bought the wood cut it to size for me.adverbscut something openCut open the avocado and remove the stone.cut something lengthways (=cut it in the direction that is longest)First cut the fish in half lengthways.cut something cleanly (=with no uneven edges)Branches should be cut cleanly from the tree. → cut across something → cut something ↔ away → cut back → cut down → cut in → cut somebody/something off → cut out → cut through something → cut up→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpuscut• Mr Bates, prospective Conservative candidate for Langbaurgh, claimed the fire service training budget had been drastically cut.• Tax bases were broadened; marginal rates were cut.• Beth's at the salon having her hair cut.• Firms cut back further on orders.• A couple of the scenes had to be cut because they were too violent.• Because of the recession, salaries in the advertising industry have been cut by a half.• Kids cut class and ran down the street to watch the fire.• With a serrated knife, cut corn kernels off cob; set aside.• It's so difficult to cut even a couple of scenes from a play without losing some of the story.• His annual leave has been cut from six weeks to just three.• One of the children had cut her foot on some glass.• Phil cut himself shaving this morning.• I had to cut huge chunks out to get this essay to the right length.• Trim the fennel, cut into quarters and core.• My sister usually cuts my hair.• Rescue workers had to use special equipment to cut open the steel doors.• This cuts out the currency board as middleman, and has a similar economic effect.• It cut Romney Marsh off from the mainland.• Even after it had been cut, the film was still over three hours long.• Cut the fish into four pieces and serve hot or warm.• My dad used to cut the grass every Sunday morning.• Mandy cut the paper in half and gave a piece to each child.• First cut the paper into a triangle.• Beresford cut the scenes of cannibalism.• He cut the string and carefully unwrapped the parcel.• Iron and steel were hard and unyielding, yet here in the machine shop, you cut them like butter.• If you cut too many jobs, you overload the remaining employees.• I wish you wouldn't cut your fingernails in the living room.cut costs• But it regularly boasts of buying abroad to cut costs.• He observes that managed care companies have simply responded to employers who pay health benefits and want to cut costs.• The mapper will use components from existing spacecraft to cut costs.• Banks across the country tied the knot as a way to cut costs and boost earnings.• Mr Gummer unveiled a series of measures to cut costs at slaughterhouses.• We can cut costs by bulk purchasing and take advantage of national retail distribution channels.• Pressure to cut costs led to the firing of over 200 employees.• Banks are trying to cut costs to generate money to write off their bad loans.• It was their wage-reducing attempts to cut costs which led to Luddism.cut somebody something• Can you cut me a piece of bread too, please?cut the lawn/grass/hedge etc• If yours is still being mended, borrow your neighbour's mower and cut the lawn.• Suppose Vic's father chose this moment to spray his apple tree, Mungo thought, or cut the grass?• You know the drill: cut the grass; bag the clippings; haul them to the curb for pickup.• Quentin Featherston cut the grass of the rectory lawns again.• We won't be able to cut the grass the week after next, as I'd hoped.• Rotary mowers Hand or self-propelled, these cut the grass with a scything action as the blades revolve.cut into• The paraffin block was cut into 3 µm thick sections which were placed on slides.• The straw can be cut into a point at one end.• If the patient can only use one hand, food should be prepared ready to eat, cut into manageable pieces.• You sure cut into my fun.• Discounts may bring in shoppers, but they cut into retailers' profits.• Cut into the meat to see if it is done.• To serve, cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.• It is not difficult to construct your own labyrinth, either in stones or cut into your lawn.cut your finger/knee/hand etc• The burr will prevent a proper fitting being made and can also cut your fingers.• He was not sure how he cut his hand, but suggested that he nicked himself while wrestling with his son.• He'd cut my fingers off if I used it.• One day Mr Jenks had cut his hand on a tin can.• In early December, Aesop cut his finger opening a can of cling peaches.• And the only guy hurt cut his hand opening an ammo can.• Sitting on the ground was Terry Porter who'd apparently fallen over and cut his knee quite badly.cut free• He had to be cut free.• Rex was trapped by his legs and had to be cut free.• Some were catapulted out of smashed windows, while others were trapped and had to be cut free.• The road, which is popular with tourists, was closed while the men were cut free.• They could let down extra wires to hold the branch and winch it up when it was cut free.• Two survivors - both women - were cut free after being trapped for 20 minutes in the wreckage.• Police said the bicycle, valued at £200, had been left chained to railings but was cut free by the thieves.• A man and a woman were cut free from the Honda, but the woman has since died.cut through/down/across etc• While it might cut down on drug-related crime, the total level of harm certainly would skyrocket, as more people indulged.• Because of business commitments he's cut down on his rescue work.• It's all part of a plan to cut down on the quantity of rubbish being taken to already overflowing landfill sites.• Those who did were swiftly cut down, peppered with birdshot, as they raised their guns to fire.• Former railroad rights of way cut across river bottoms that used to be littered with bustling towns.• The dart is ready to cut through the september evening.• Enrique cut through the woods towards the farm.• I had a sense that this was a much longer project that was cut down to a more commercial length.cut something in/into something• Cut the apples into four pieces.