From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishcut down phrasal verb1REDUCEREDUCEreduce to reduce the amount of somethingcut something ↔ downInstalling double-glazing will cut down the noise from traffic. onBy getting the design right, you can cut down on accidents.2eat/use less to eat, drink, or use less of something, especially in order to improve your healthI’ve always smoked, but I’m trying to cut down. onCut down on fatty foods if you want to lose weight.3TAFCUTTREEtree cut something ↔ down to cut through the main part of a tree so that it falls on the ground4KILLINJUREkill cut somebody ↔ down literary to kill or injure someone, especially in a battleHundreds of men were cut down by crossbow fire.5MAKE SHORTERSHORT/NOT LONGreduce length cut something ↔ down to reduce the length of something such as a piece of writingYour essay’s too long – it needs cutting down a little.6cut somebody down to sizeCRITICIZE to make someone realize that they are not as important, successful etc as they think they are →cut→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
cut down• Did you have to cut your dissertation down?• If you can't give up smoking completely, at least try to cut down.• The introduction's too long. Can you try and cut it down?• We've had to cut down a lot since Craig lost his job - it's been very hard for us.• They want me to cut down my article so that it'll all fit onto one page.• She's already cut down on going out and buyingclothes, but she doesn't have enough money to startpaying off her debts.• I'm trying to cut down on meat.• The department has overspent this year and we will have to cut down our expenses.cut on• Nearly all intervieweesclaimed they had been forced to cut down onfood and fuel and many reportedill health.• Because of businesscommitments he's cut down on his rescue work.• To try to cut down oninternecinewarfare, Mr Florio oversawannualmeetings at which he encouragedpublishers to work together.• The thing to avoid or at least cut down on is refinedsugar and the products that contain it.• Negatives: They seem to have cut down onstaff recently, upon whom you mustrely for beverageservice.• I'm trying to cut down on the amount of coffee I drink.• As they approached the first little island, Claude cut down on the power and turnednorth along the shoreline.• I thought that would cut down on the risk.• Stopfeeding the fish, to cut down on the wastematter being produced.cut on• Nearly all interviewees claimed they had been forced to cut down on food and fuel and many reported ill health.• Because of business commitments he's cut down on his rescue work.• To try to cut down on internecine warfare, Mr Florio oversaw annual meetings at which he encouraged publishers to work together.• The thing to avoid or at least cut down on is refined sugar and the products that contain it.• Negatives: They seem to have cut down on staff recently, upon whom you must rely for beverage service.• As they approached the first little island, Claude cut down on the power and turned north along the shoreline.• I thought that would cut down on the risk.• Stop feeding the fish, to cut down on the waste matter being produced.cut somebody down to size• The team wants to cut UCLA down to size.• Josh would soon cut Hank down to size.• To cut you down to size.• When the time came, he would cut him down to size.• History thus cuts man down to size by reminding him of his origins: its characteristicinsight is hindsight.