cut out

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See also: cut-out and cutout



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

  1. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see cut,‎ out. To separate into parts with or as if with a sharp-edged instrument; sever.
    Cut out the letters and paste them on the poster.
  2. (transitive) To refrain from (doing something, using something etc.), to stop/cease (doing something).
    He had to cut out smoking in order to be prepared for the marathon
    She kept clicking her heels. He told her to cut it out.
    • 1906, Princeton Alumni Weekly (volume 7, page 210)
      Hockey is an exciting and healthful form of exercise, well suited to college students, but if it is to retain favor the intercollegiate league should cut out the muckerism which has attended its contests on the ice in recent years.
    • 1910, O. Henry [pseudonym; William Sydney Porter], “The Girl and the Habit”, in Strictly Business[1]:
      Cut that joshing out,” she said, coolly and briskly. “Who do you think you are talking to? Your check, please. Oh, Lordy!—”
    • 1951, J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Little, Brown and Company, OCLC 287628, page 8:
      I have no wind, if you want to know the truth. I'm quite a heavy smoker, for one thing — that is, I used to be. They made me cut it out.
  3. (transitive) To remove, omit.
    If we cut out the middle-man, we will both have better profits.
  4. (transitive) To oust, to replace.
  5. (transitive) To separate from a herd.
    The cowboy cut out the unbranded heifers.
  6. (intransitive) To stop working, to switch off; (of a person on the telephone etc.) to be inaudible, be disconnected.
    It was around then that the engine suddenly cut out.
    Can you say that again? You keep cutting out.
  7. (intransitive) To leave suddenly.
    He must have cut out of the party.
  8. (usually in passive) To arrange or prepare.
    He has his work cut out for him.
  9. (transitive) To intercept.
    • 2011 January 12, Saj Chowdhury, “Liverpool 2 - 1 Liverpool”, in BBC[2]:
      As lax as the visitors' defence was, Blackpool's backline was solid. In the first half the Seasiders cut out final balls to Meireles, one of Liverpool's best players, on two occasions and after the break the brilliant Craig Cathcart got enough on his headed clearance to prevent Torres from planting into the net at the far post.
  10. (nautical) To take a ship out of a harbor etc. by getting between her and the shore.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In all senses the object can come before or after out. If the object is a pronoun, it MUST come before out.

Derived terms[edit]



cut out (comparative more cut out, superlative most cut out)

  1. (idiomatic, chiefly in the negative) Well suited; appropriate; fit for a particular activity or purpose.
    I'm not really cut out for camping outdoors. I'm allergic to mosquito bites.
    We've got our work cut out for us.
    See have one's work cut out for one
    Do you think he is cut out for the role of manager?
    • 1946, Mezz Mezzrow; Bernard Wolfe, Really the Blues, New York: Random House, page 3:
      I was cut out to be a jazzman the way the righteous are chosen for the church.


See also[edit]