See also: Cutting

English edit

Etymology edit

A railway cutting (sense 4) near Fulwell railway station in London, UK

From cut +‎ -ing.[1]

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

cutting (countable and uncountable, plural cuttings)

  1. (countable, uncountable) The action of the verb to cut.
    How many different cuttings can this movie undergo?
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Leviticus 19:28, column 1:
      Ye ſhall not make any cuttings in your fleſh for the dead, nor print any markes vpon you: I am the Lord.
    • 1946 January and February, “Notes and News: Demolition of Rhydyfelin Viaduct”, in Railway Magazine, page 53:
      The first stage of the demolition work consisted of removing, by oxy-acetylene cutting, the whole of the plate floor, cross-girders, and lattice parapets.
    • 1993, John Powell, “The Basic Principles”, in CO2 Laser Cutting, London, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, →DOI, →ISBN, section 1.1 (The Cutting Process), pages 2–3:
      The first industrial use of CO2 lasers was the cutting of plywood dye boards for the packaging industry. [...] The laser cutting process has a number of advantages over competing technologies which have ensured the growth of this branch of industry: [...]
    • 2014, Mary Nyangweso, “Female Genital Cutting: An Overview”, in Female Genital Cutting in Industrialized Countries: Mutilation or Cultural Tradition?, Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger, ABC-CLIO, page 15:
      Female genital cutting is an intentional, nonmedical modification of the female genitalia. It is commonly performed on girls between the ages of 4 and 16, although in some cases it is performed on infants as young as three months old.
  2. (countable) A section removed from a larger whole.
    • 1723, John Smith, The Curiosities of Common Water: Or The Advantages thereof in Preventing and Curing Many Distempers. [], 5th edition, London: [] John and Barham Clark, [], →OCLC, pages 9–10:
      [O]bſerving [...] abundance of Matter floating in the Urine like Bran, with a great Number of Recrements like Cuttings of Hair, ſome above an Inch long, which Subſtances were found in all the Water that I made in above Twelve Months; for which I could get no Remedy: I was adviſed to drink Water, which in about half a Year did intirely free me from thoſe Symptoms, [...]
    • 1839 March 23, George Nelson, “Specification of a Patent Granted to George Nelson, [] for a New or Improved Method, or New and Improved Methods of Preparing Gelatine which has the Properties of or Resembles Glue.—Sealed March 23, 1839”, in The Repertory of Patent Inventions, [], volume XIII (New Series), number LXXVII, London: [] J. S. Hodson, [], published May 1840, →OCLC, page 270:
      I make such gelatine as above mentioned of two different qualities, [...] and I use all such hides and skins, and cuttings of hides and skins as are usually employed in manufacturing glue according to the ordinary method, and which are commonly called glue-pieces, [...]
    • 2011, Natalie Avella, “Introduction”, in Laura Heyenga, compiler, Paper Cutting: Contemporary Artists, Timeless Craft, San Francisco, Calif.: Chronicle Books, →ISBN, page 9, column 1:
      Yet, while paper cuttings can look very modern, paper cutting as an activity has a long, rich heritage. The Chinese, who first invented paper as we know it, started cutting more than a thousand years before most Europeans had ever seen a piece of paper. The oldest extant paper cutting is a simple symmetrical circle from the sixth century that was found in a far western province of China.
    1. (countable) A newspaper clipping.
      • p. 1871, Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex. [], Brighton, East Sussex: W. J. Smith, [], →OCLC, page 263:
        Extract from "Newspaper Cuttings relating to Sussex," (Sussex Archaeological Collections, 1872, pp. 140, 141.)
      • 1878 July 13, Henry C. Fisk (witness), “Eleventh Day”, in Presidential Election Investigation: Testimony Taken by the Select Committee on Alleged Frauds in the Presidential Election of 1876 (45th Congress, 3d Session, House of Representatives Mis. Doc.; 31, part 3), volume III (Testimony Relating to Louisiana), Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, published 1879, →OCLC, page 252:
        The Witness. [After a farther inspection of the newspaper cutting.] No; it is not in that part about Weber, but here [indicating another newspaper cutting] is the agreement that Mr. Wilder was testifying about, and that has Weber's name.
      • 1919 October 20, Virginia Woolf, chapter VI, in Night and Day, London: Duckworth and Company [], →OCLC, page 81:
        Mrs. Seal wandered about with newspaper cuttings, which seemed to her either "quite splendid" or "really too bad for words." She used to paste these into books, or send them to her friends, having first drawn a broad bar in blue pencil down the margin, a proceeding which signified equally and indistinguishably the depths of her reprobation or the heights of her approval.
      • H.P. Lovecraft, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
        Moved by some vague presentiment amidst the horrors of that period, Willett arranged with an international press-cutting bureau for accounts of notable current crimes and accidents in Prague and in eastern Transylvania; and after six months believed that he had found two very significant things amongst the multifarious items he received and had translated.
    2. (countable, horticulture) A leaf, stem, branch, or root removed from a plant and cultivated to grow a new plant.
      • 1683, John Reid, “Of the Several Wayes of Propagation”, in The Scots Gard’ner: [], Edinburgh: [] David Lindsay, [], →OCLC, 2nd part (Treating of the Culture of Plants), paragraph 5, page 59:
        To propagate by cuttings, is to cut off the branch or ſtem of a Plant, and to ſet it in the Earth without Roots. Strip it of leaves and branches, Plant deeper than theſe with Roots, and in a rich and moiſt ſoil, keeping it watered and ſhaded, Untill Rooted; cut off their Tops ſave Greens, as if your cutting be 12 Inches long, let 9 be under, and 3 above ground.
      • 1733, Philip Miller, “VITIS”, in The Gardeners Dictionary: [], 2nd edition, volume I, London: [] C[harles] Rivington, [], →OCLC, column 1:
        All the Sorts of Vines are propagated either from Layers or Cuttings, the former of which is greatly practis'd in England, but the latter is what I would recommend, as being much preferable to the other. [...] I had rather plant a good Cutting than a rooted Plant, provided it be well choſen, and there is leſs Danger of its not growing.
      • 1803, [William] Marshall, “Buxus”, in On Planting and Rural Ornament. A Practical Treatise, [...] In Two Volumes, 3rd edition, volume II, London: [] G[eorge] and W. Nicol, []; G[eorge] and J[ohn] Robinson, []; and T[homas] Cadell and W[illiam] Davies, [], →OCLC, page 47:
        The method of propagating the Box is perfectly easy: it may be raised from cuttings, or from seed, or by layering. [...] For planting the cuttings, [Thomas] Hanbury says the month of August is the best time, if any rain falls.
      • 2002, Donna Tartt, “Chapter 6”, in The Little Friend, page 396:
        Allison carried it all home, and then spent a long time that evening out on the back porch, wrapping up Ida's collection of rooted cuttings, each snuff tin and plastic cup in its own carefully fashioned sleeve of wet newspaper.
  3. (countable) An abridged selection of written work, often intended for performance.
    The actor had to make his cutting shorter to fit the audition time.
  4. (countable, Britain) An open passage at a level lower than the surrounding terrain, dug for a canal, railway, or road to go through.
    Synonym: cut
    Antonym: embankment
    • 1832, “Documents in Relation to the Comparative Merits of Canals and Railroads, Submitted by Mr. Howard, of Maryland, []. (Doc. No. 101) [No. 7. Observations upon the Cost of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway.]”, in Executive Documents, Printed by Order of the House of Representatives, at the First Session of the Twenty-second Congress, [] In Seven Volumes, volume III, Washington, D.C.: [] Duff Green, →OCLC, page 211:
      [T]he railway, however, will require a farther outlay to render it complete, though the locomotive engine has passed over every foot of ground from Liverpool to Salford. The slopes of the cuttings want dressing, and several of them want protecting with foot walls.
    • 1876, William Ernest Henley, “[Poem] XXI”, in A Book of Verses, 3rd edition, New York, N.Y.: Scribner & Welford, published 1891, →OCLC, page 77:
      We flash across the level. / We thunder thro' the bridges. / We bicker down the cuttings. / We sway along the ridges.
    • 1944 November and December, “Increasing G.W.R. Line Capacity”, in Railway Magazine, page 367:
      No borrow pit excavation was necessary, and 41,000 cu. yd. were removed from cuttings by excavating machines.
    • 1961 February, D. Bertram, “The lines to Wetherby and their traffic”, in Trains Illustrated, page 101:
      On the descent the line is often in cuttings; some are high, such as at Scarcroft, where a cut through firestone and fireclay was necessary, and near Bardsey, where the line threads a deep tree-lined gorge.
  5. (uncountable, cinematography, sound engineering) The editing of film or other recordings.
  6. (uncountable, machining) The process of bringing metals to a desired shape by chipping away the unwanted material.
    Boring, drilling, milling, and turning are all different kinds of metal cutting processes.
    • 2009, Tony Atkins, “Slice–Push Ratio: Oblique Cutting and Curved Blades, Scissors, Guillotining and Drilling”, in The Science and Engineering of Cutting: The Mechanics and Processes of Separating, Scratching and Puncturing Biomaterials, Metals and Non-metals, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann, →ISBN, section 5.1 (Introduction), page 111:
      Metal-cutting tools often have two cutting edges, both of which are angled to the direction of cutting, and in round-nosed tools the inclination continuously varies [...].
  7. (uncountable, psychology) The act of cutting one's own skin as a symptom of a mental disorder; self-harm.
    • 2014, Greg Roza, “What is Self-injury?”, in Cutting and Self-injury (Teen Mental Health), New York, N.Y.: Rosen Publishing Group, →ISBN, page 7:
      Cutting has become one of the most popular forms of self-injury, but there are others at well, and each is just as dangerous as cutting. The information here might help you recognize the signs of self-injury in others.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adjective edit

cutting (not comparable)

  1. That is used for cutting.
    I need some sort of cutting utensil to get through this shrink wrap.
    • 1984, E[dward] M[oor] Trent, “Heat in Metal Cutting”, in Metal Cutting, 2nd edition, London, Boston, Mass.: Butterworths & Co., published 1989, →ISBN, page 54:
      The power consumed in metal cutting is largely converted into heat near the cutting edge of the tool, and many of the economic and technical problems of machining are caused directly or indirectly by this heating action.
  2. Piercing, sharp.
    • 2004 June, P[atricia] N[ead] Elrod, chapter 12, in Death Masque (Adventures of Jonathan Barrett, Gentleman Vampire; 3), Dallas, Tex.: BenBella Books, →ISBN, page 211:
      The weather was atrocious, with bitterly cold wind and cutting sleet—rather appropriate, considering Aunt Fonteyn's temperament.
  3. Of criticism, remarks, etc.: (potentially) hurtful.
    The director gave the auditioning actors cutting criticism.
    • 1703, Ambr[ose] Philips, “An Appendix to the Life of Abp. Williams”, in The Life of John Williams, Ld Keeper of the Great Seal, Bishop of Lincoln, and ABp. [Archbishop] of York. [], 2nd edition, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: [] A[bel] Roper []; and R. Basset [], →OCLC, page 311:
      [H]e concludes with this cutting remark, But Benefactors may give Money, but not grateful Minds to ſuch as receive it.
    • 1861 September, “The Little Gleaner”, in The Child’s Companion, and Juvenile Instructor, number 201, London: The Religious Tract Society;  [], →OCLC, page 260:
      Poor Betsy had often been the subject of Tommy's jokes; many a cutting remark had been made about her dress, which, though clean and whole, was always poor and old-fashioned; [...]
  4. (India) Of a beverage: half-sized.
    a cutting chai

Hyponyms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb edit


  1. present participle and gerund of cut

References edit

  1. ^ cutting, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1893; “cutting, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading edit