cutting

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cut it close

To do or complete something very near to its limit, especially of time. We'll be cutting it close, but we should get there just before the movie starts.
See also: close, cut

cut one another's throats

Of a group or population of people, to be engaged in ferocious, pernicious competition with one another other. It's a symptom of the society we live in that we're all trained to cut one another's throats just to earn a little bit more money. The majority of the economy is dominated by a few megacorporations, while all the smaller businesses are cutting one another's throats for what little market share is left over.
See also: cut, one, throat

cut each other's throats

Of a group or population of people, to be engaged in ferocious, pernicious competition with one another. It's a symptom of the society we live in that we're all trained to cut each other's throats just to earn a little bit more money. The majority of the economy is dominated by a few megacorporations, while all the smaller businesses are cutting each other's throats for what little market share is left over.
See also: cut, each, throat

cutting remark

A remark or comment intended to injure the feelings of others. Savita was ecstatic over her acceptance to law school, but John's cutting remark about her ability to succeed really undermined her confidence.
See also: cutting, remark

nut-cutting time

A point in time in which extreme, drastic, or decisive action is required; a period, usually near the end of an endeavor, when pressure to succeed is most intense; crunch time. The phrase refers to having to cut a nut off or away from a bolt because rust has immobilized it to the point where there's no other way to remove it. He may not be as flashy a player as some of the other star quarterbacks out there, but when it comes to nut-cutting time, there's no one I'd rather have leading my team. It's nut-cutting time now, and the senator is going to have to pull out all of the stops if he's to have any chance of winning this election.
See also: time

cut (one's) comb

To humble someone who is acting arrogant. If he brags about his straight A's one more time, I'm going to remind him how bad his grades were last year. That should cut his comb! I'm really proud of this accomplishment, so stop trying to cut my comb!
See also: comb, cut

cut a dido

To play a mischievous trick. The name possibly refers to Queen Dido, founder of Carthage, who asked the natives for as much land as could be covered by a bull's hide. She then cut the hide into thin strips to gain more land. Billy cut a dido today when he pulled my chair out from under me when I went to sit down.
See also: cut, dido

cut (one's) eyeteeth

To gain experience with something, especially at a young age (when one's teeth would be coming in). One's "eyeteeth" are the canines. Oh, I cut my eyeteeth on those kinds of equations! Give me a challenging problem for a change! Jen may be young, but she cut her eyeteeth at a prestigious journal, so her perspective and expertise will be invaluable to us.
See also: cut, eyetooth

cut (one's) stick

To leave hastily or abruptly. Oh man, once I heard that dog barking, I cut my stick out of there! Did Amanda leave? Boy, she really cut her stick—she didn't even say goodbye to me!
See also: cut, stick

cut (one's) teeth

To gain experience with something, especially at a young age (when one's teeth would be coming in). Oh, I cut my teeth on those kinds of equations! Give me a challenging problem for a change! Jen may be young, but she cut her teeth at a prestigious journal, so her perspective and expertise will be invaluable to us.
See also: cut, teeth

cut (one's) wisdom teeth

To reach an age or state of maturity. I think that we should hire an older, more experienced candidate, one who has already cut her wisdom teeth.
See also: cut, teeth, wisdom

cut (someone) loose

To end a relationship with someone, often abruptly. A: "Wait, they fired you?" B: "Yes! They just cut me loose with no explanation!" If he keeps calling me at all hours of the night, I'm going to have to cut him loose, I mean it!
See also: cut, loose

cut the Gordian knot

To solve a very challenging or daunting problem decisively. The phrase likely alludes to Gordius, the king of Phrygia, who tied a knot that an oracle proclaimed would only be cut by the future ruler of Asia. Alexander the Great allegedly cut the Gordian knot in one blow. A: "Wait, Matt already solved that impossible equation?" B: "Yes! I have no idea how he did it, but he sure cut the Gordian knot."
See also: cut, Gordian, knot

cut the umbilical cord

To strike out on one's own from an overly involved or suffocating relationship, usually between a parent and child. I love my mom, I truly do, but she used to call me five times a day! I had to cut the umbilical cord! Geez Pete, you're 40 years old! It's time to cut the umbilical cord and stop living with your parents!
See also: cord, cut

at the cutting edge

At the forefront of technological developments or advancements. The new company I work for is at the cutting edge of medical science. I think some of their new instruments are going to revolutionize the field of medicine.
See also: cutting, edge

cut from the same cloth

Very similar in characteristics or behaviors. I hate the snow, but my kids just love it—they are definitely cut from the same cloth. Julia and her mother are cut from the same cloth, as they are both so kind and sweet.
See also: cloth, cut, same

cut to the bone

1. To cut or slice something deeply. A noun can be used between "cut" and "to." Your arm is cut to the bone—you definitely need to go to the emergency room! Mom asked me to cut the meat to the bone.
2. To reduce or decrease something significantly. A noun can be used between "cut" and "to." The arts program at my alma mater has been cut to the bone. Our department needs to cut our spending to the bone this quarter.
See also: bone, cut

cut the mustard

1. slang To work or operate in a satisfactory manner. The origin of this phrase is debated. I need a new worker from the temp agency—the one you sent over keeps mixing up orders and just isn't cutting the mustard. This toaster doesn't cut the mustard anymore. No matter what setting you choose, your toast comes out charred!
2. slang To work or act with energy and enthusiasm, as is characteristic of the young. That guy looks like he's 110 years old—there's no way he'll be able to cut the mustard stocking shelves all day!
See also: cut, mustard

clear-cut

1. adjective Easily understandable and unquestionable; free of doubt. I know you're unhappy about it, but grandma's will was clear-cut—all of her money goes to Elise. There is no one clear-cut path to success.
2. verb To cut down all the trees in a particular forested tract. The environmental group is attempting to stop the logging company from clear-cutting a vast swath of forest.
3. adjective Describing a forested tract that has been cut in such a way. The clear-cut tract looks like an alien landscape with its acres of stumps.

cut from the same cloth

 and made from the same mold
Fig. sharing a lot of similarities; seeming to have been created, reared, or fashioned in the same way. She and her brother are cut from the same cloth. They both tell lies all the time. Father and son are made from the same mold and even sound alike on the telephone.
See also: cloth, cut, same

cut something to the bone

 
1. Lit. to slice deep to a bone. The knife cut John to the bone. He had to be sewed up. Cut each slice of ham to the bone. Then each slice will be as big as possible.
2. Fig. to cut down severely (on something). (To the bone emphasizes the severity of the cutting.) We cut our expenses to the bone and are still losing money. Congress had to cut expenditures to the bone in order to balance the budget.
See also: bone, cut

cutting edge

Fig. the most forward part of a trend; the leading part of a trend. (Alludes to the edge of a sword. See also on the cutting edge. See also on the bleeding edge.) Fred's invention put him on the cutting edge of the computer chip business.
See also: cutting, edge

on the cutting edge

Fig. [for someone] to be trendy and very up-to-date; [for something] to be of the latest design. (Akin to on the bleeding edge.) This technology is right on the cutting edge. It's so new, it's not available to the public yet.
See also: cutting, edge, on

cut from the same cloth

to be very similar These new songs are clearly cut from the same cloth as the band's earlier tunes.
See also: cloth, cut, same

on the cutting room floor

not included Some real ballplayers were used in the movie's baseball scenes, but they ended up on the cutting room floor. In the rush to finish this session, legislators left some very important bills on the cutting room floor.
See also: cutting, floor, on, room

on the cutting edge (of something)

also at the cutting edge (of something)
in front of others with what is new Some people on the cutting edge of fashion have one strip of hair dyed one color and the rest another color. University Hospital is at the cutting edge of medical technology.
Usage notes: also used in the form on the edge: This band used to be on the edge, but it's much less exciting these days.
See also: cutting, edge, on

clear-cut

clear and certain, so that there is no doubt about something She has clear-cut evidence that the company cheated her. The link between alcohol and crime is clear-cut.

at/on the cutting edge

in the area of a subject or activity where the most recent changes and developments are happening (often + of ) New, young, Italian designers are at the cutting edge of fashion.
See also: cutting, edge

cut the mustard

Perform satisfactorily, as in We need a better catcher; this one just doesn't cut the mustard. The origin of this expression is disputed. Some believe it alludes to mustard in the sense of the best or main attraction (owing to its spicing up food), whereas others believe it is a corruption of pass muster. Still others hold that it concerns the preparation of mustard, which involves adding vinegar to mustard seed to "cut" (reduce) its bitterness. The expression is often in negative form, as in the example. [Slang; c. 1900]
See also: cut, mustard

cutting edge, at the

Also, on the cutting edge. In the forefront, in a position of greatest advantage or importance. For example, In my youth I was at the cutting edge of medical research, or Our company is on the cutting edge of gene therapy. This metaphoric phrase alludes to the sharp edge of a knife or other cutting tool. [c. 1950]
See also: cutting

cut to the bone

Severely reduced, as in During the Depression Grandmother's housekeeping money was cut to the bone. The phrase to the bone, literally meaning "through the flesh to the inmost part or core," dates from about 1400. This expression in effect means that everything extraneous has been cut away so that only bone remains.
See also: bone, cut

cut the mustard

verb
See also: cut, mustard

cut the mustard

1. tv. to be able to do something requiring youth or vigor. (Usually in the expression too old to cut the mustard.) Do you really think he can cut the mustard?
2. Go to cut the cheese.
See also: cut, mustard

cut from the same cloth

Similar or the same.
See also: cloth, cut, same

cut the mustard

To perform up to expectations or to a required standard.
See also: cut, mustard
References in periodicals archive ?
Power management company Eaton today announced three new high performance hose cutting machines that will provide a higher level of operator safety with breakthrough technology used in the hose cutting process.
Offering this new hose cutting technology for a complete range of machines will reduce operator risk while increasing cutting effectiveness, said Doug Jahnke, product marketing manager, Eaton.
As the name suggests, hardwood cuttings are those taken from ripe wood that began to grow this spring and which has matured throughout the summer.
The basic principle of selecting wood for cuttings is the same for all the different plant types: use vigorous stems with healthy buds.
AUGUST is traditionally the time to take cuttings of geraniums and fuchsias to overwinter in manageable-sized pots.
The cuttings should then be placed in a 3" (8cm) pot of seed and cutting compost.
Spring and early summer, when plant growth is soft and fleshy (not woody), is the best time to take cuttings, although many nonclumping perennials can be rooted from stem cuttings taken almost any time the growth is still soft.
Take cuttings only from healthy plants, and choose vigorous young shoots or side shoots.
In 1970, I had the opportunity to become involved in a series of studies sponsored by the National Science Foundation on the effect of cutting on nutrient cycling and productivity, forest-stream interactions, and other ecosystem-level phenomena in old-growth forests.
If we take a pie-cutting approach, the result is commodity-producing lands managed intensively for high yields of wood fiber, plus preserved lands that are completely withdrawn from timber cutting.
01% of the contaminants in these cuttings leaving clean fill that can be redeposited into the ground or otherwise handled in an environmentally compliant manner.
Many plants will root easily if cuttings are taken before the wood becomes too tough, despite the days getting shorter and the nights damper.
To root cuttings from shrubs, ground covers, perennial herbs, succulents or indoor plants, utilize a mix consisting of one part sand and one part peat moss.
Club members will cut plants early this morning, so all the slips and cuttings are fresh, Udels said.
I went back for cuttings every year,'' recalled Stafford, who joined the club 15 years ago.