cut down

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See also: cut-down and cutdown



  • (file)


cut down (third-person singular simple present cuts down, present participle cutting down, simple past and past participle cut down)

  1. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see cut,‎ down.
    • 1944 January and February, “Light Railways in Derbyshire”, in Railway Magazine, page 25:
      All three engines are cut down severely to pass through the tunnel, which is of very restricted dimensions, and have neither cabs nor weatherboards.
  2. (transitive) To bring down by cutting.
    They want to cut down several trees to make room for the parking lot.
  3. (idiomatic, transitive) To insult, to belittle.
  4. (idiomatic) To reduce the amount of something.
    He wants to cut down on extra steps.
    Please don't put the candy jar right next to my desk. I'm trying to cut down on sugar.
    • 1961 October, “The winter timetables of British Railways: London Midland Region”, in Trains Illustrated, page 593:
      By wholesale omission of connections and by the use of a microscopic scale of photographic reproduction which makes some of the most important tables difficult to read, the size has been cut down from last winter's 580 to 520 pages only.
  5. (idiomatic, dated) To slay, often in great numbers.
    I will cut you down where you stand.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In all senses, the object may appear before or after the particle. If it is a pronoun, it MUST precede the particle.

Derived terms[edit]


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