To cut a figure
Cut Cut (k[u^]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Cut}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Cutting}.] [OE. cutten, kitten, ketten; prob. of Celtic origin; cf. W. cwtau to shorten, curtail, dock, cwta bobtailed, cwt tail, skirt, Gael. cutaich to shorten, curtail, dock, cutach short, docked, cut a bobtail, piece, Ir. cut a short tail, cutach bobtailed. Cf. {Coot}.] 1. To separate the parts of with, or as with, a sharp instrument; to make an incision in; to gash; to sever; to divide. [1913 Webster]

You must cut this flesh from off his breast. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Before the whistling winds the vessels fly, With rapid swiftness cut the liquid way. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

2. To sever and cause to fall for the purpose of gathering; to hew; to mow or reap. [1913 Webster]

Thy servants can skill to cut timer. --2. Chron. ii. 8 [1913 Webster]

3. To sever and remove by cutting; to cut off; to dock; as, to cut the hair; to cut the nails. [1913 Webster]

4. To castrate or geld; as, to cut a horse. [1913 Webster]

5. To form or shape by cutting; to make by incision, hewing, etc.; to carve; to hew out. [1913 Webster]

Why should a man. whose blood is warm within, Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster? --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Loopholes cut through thickest shade. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

6. To wound or hurt deeply the sensibilities of; to pierce; to lacerate; as, sarcasm cuts to the quick. [1913 Webster]

The man was cut to the heart. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

7. To intersect; to cross; as, one line cuts another at right angles. [1913 Webster]

8. To refuse to recognize; to ignore; as, to cut a person in the street; to cut one's acquaintance. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

9. To absent one's self from; as, to cut an appointment, a recitation. etc. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

An English tradesman is always solicitous to cut the shop whenever he can do so with impunity. --Thomas Hamilton. [1913 Webster]

10. (Cricket) To deflect (a bowled ball) to the off, with a chopping movement of the bat. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

11. (Billiards, etc.) To drive (an object ball) to either side by hitting it fine on the other side with the cue ball or another object ball. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

12. (Lawn Tennis, etc.) To strike (a ball) with the racket inclined or struck across the ball so as to put a certain spin on the ball. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

13. (Croquet) To drive (a ball) to one side by hitting with another ball. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

{To cut a caper}. See under {Caper}.

{To cut the cards}, to divide a pack of cards into portions, in order to determine the deal or the trump, or to change the cards to be dealt.

{To cut both ways}, to have effects both advantageous and disadvantageous.

{To cut corners}, to deliberately do an incomplete or imperfect job in order to save time or money.

{To cut a dash} or {To cut a figure}, to make a display of oneself; to give a conspicuous impression. [Colloq.]

{To cut down}. (a) To sever and cause to fall; to fell; to prostrate. ``Timber . . . cut down in the mountains of Cilicia.'' --Knolles. (b) To put down; to abash; to humble. [Obs] ``So great is his natural eloquence, that he cuts down the finest orator.'' --Addison (c) To lessen; to retrench; to curtail; as, to cut down expenses. (d) (Naut.) To raze; as, to cut down a frigate into a sloop.

{To cut the knot} or {To cut the Gordian knot}, to dispose of a difficulty summarily; to solve it by prompt, arbitrary action, rather than by skill or patience.

{To cut lots}, to determine lots by cuttings cards; to draw lots.

{To cut off}. (a) To sever; to separate. [1913 Webster +PJC]

I would to God, . . . The king had cut off my brother's. --Shak. (b) To put an untimely death; to put an end to; to destroy. ``Iren[ae]us was likewise cut off by martyrdom.'' --Addison. (c) To interrupt; as, to cut off communication; to cut off (the flow of) steam from (the boiler to) a steam engine. (d) To intercept; as,, to cut off an enemy's retreat. (e) To end; to finish; as, to cut off further debate.

{To cut out}. (a) To remove by cutting or carving; as, to cut out a piece from a board. (b) To shape or form by cutting; as, to cut out a garment. `` A large forest cut out into walks.'' --Addison. (c) To scheme; to contrive; to prepare; as, to cut out work for another day. ``Every man had cut out a place for himself.'' --Addison. (d) To step in and take the place of; to supplant; as, to cut out a rival. [Colloq.] (e) To debar. ``I am cut out from anything but common acknowledgments.'' --Pope. (f) To seize and carry off (a vessel) from a harbor, or from under the guns of an enemy. (g) to separate from the midst of a number; as, to cut out a steer from a herd; to cut out a car from a train. (h) to discontinue; as, to cut out smoking.

{To cut to pieces}. (a) To cut into pieces; as, to cut cloth to pieces. (b) To slaughter; as, to cut an army to pieces.

{To cut a play} (Drama), to shorten it by leaving out passages, to adapt it for the stage.

{To cut rates} (Railroads, etc.), to reduce the charges for transportation below the rates established between competing lines.

{To cut short}, to arrest or check abruptly; to bring to a sudden termination. ``Achilles cut him short, and thus replied.'' --Dryden.

{To cut stick}, to make off clandestinely or precipitately. [Slang]

{To cut teeth}, to put forth teeth; to have the teeth pierce through the gum and appear.

{To have cut one's eyeteeth}, to be sharp and knowing. [Colloq.]

{To cut one's wisdom teeth}, to come to years of discretion.

{To cut under}, to undersell; as, to cut under a competitor in trade; more commonly referred to as {undercut}.

{To cut up}. (a) To cut to pieces; as, to cut up an animal, or bushes. (b) To damage or destroy; to injure; to wound; as, to cut up a book or its author by severe criticism. ``This doctrine cuts up all government by the roots.'' --Locke. (c) To afflict; to discourage; to demoralize; as, the death of his friend cut him up terribly. [Colloq.] --Thackeray. [1913 Webster +PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To cut a figure — Figure Fig ure (f[i^]g [ u]r; 135), n. [F., figure, L. figura; akin to fingere to form, shape, feign. See {Feign}.] 1. The form of anything; shape; outline; appearance. [1913 Webster] Flowers have all exquisite figures. Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To cut a caper — Cut Cut (k[u^]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Cut}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Cutting}.] [OE. cutten, kitten, ketten; prob. of Celtic origin; cf. W. cwtau to shorten, curtail, dock, cwta bobtailed, cwt tail, skirt, Gael. cutaich to shorten, curtail, dock, cutach …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To cut a dash — Cut Cut (k[u^]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Cut}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Cutting}.] [OE. cutten, kitten, ketten; prob. of Celtic origin; cf. W. cwtau to shorten, curtail, dock, cwta bobtailed, cwt tail, skirt, Gael. cutaich to shorten, curtail, dock, cutach …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To cut a play — Cut Cut (k[u^]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Cut}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Cutting}.] [OE. cutten, kitten, ketten; prob. of Celtic origin; cf. W. cwtau to shorten, curtail, dock, cwta bobtailed, cwt tail, skirt, Gael. cutaich to shorten, curtail, dock, cutach …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cut a figure — To make a bold impression through one s appearance • • • Main Entry: ↑figure * * * cut a figure ◇ If you cut a fine/dashing/heroic (etc.) figure, you look very good and impressive. He cut a fine figure in his officer s uniform. • • • Main Entry:… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cut a figure — to create an image. Wielding a knife and covered in blood, the actress cut a figure that was terrifying. Usage notes: usually used with an adjective before figure: He was tall and slim and cut a handsome figure …   New idioms dictionary

  • cut a … figure — cut a… ˈfigure idiom (of a person) to have a particular appearance • He cut a striking figure in his white dinner jacket. Main entry: ↑figureidiom …   Useful english dictionary

  • cut a figure — idi to give a certain impression of oneself: to cut a distinguished figure[/ex] …   From formal English to slang

  • cut a figure — {v. phr.} To make a favorable impression; carry off an activity with dignity and grace. * /With his handsome face and sporty figure, Harry cuts quite a figure with all the ladies./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • cut a figure — {v. phr.} To make a favorable impression; carry off an activity with dignity and grace. * /With his handsome face and sporty figure, Harry cuts quite a figure with all the ladies./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

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