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1. verb To chop something into smaller pieces. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "up." You need to cut up these onions so we can brown them.
2. verb To judge or criticize someone or something harshly. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "up." I thought I had done a good job on the project, but my boss just cut it up, pointing out every little thing I had overlooked.
3. verb To cause someone to laugh. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "up." His remark cut up the rest of the group, but I just didn't think it was funny.
4. verb To joke or play around. Boys! Stop cutting up and focus on these math problems!
5. verb To behave in an angry and perhaps violent manner. In this usage, "up" is typically followed by "rough." Don't leave those guys alone together—they've been known to cut up rough when they disagree with each other.
6. noun One prone to joking or playing around. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated. My son is constantly getting in trouble at school because he's such a cut-up.
7. adjective Anguished. After the funeral, I was cut up for the rest of the day.
8. adjective, slang Having well-defined abdominal muscles. Did you see that lifeguard with his shirt off? He's totally cut up!
(oneself) loose (from someone or something) to get out from under the domination of someone or something. At last, she cut herself loose from her mother. She had to cut loose from home. Everyone wished that Todd would cut himself loose from his mother.
cut someone or something up
Fig. to criticize someone or something severely. Jane is such a gossip. She was really cutting Mrs. Jones up. The professor really cut up my essay.
cut someone up
Fig. to make someone laugh. That comedian's routine really cut me up. Tommy's rude noises cut the whole class up, but not the teacher.
cut up (about someone or something)
Sl. emotionally upset about someone or something. She was all cut up about her divorce. You could see how cut up she was.
1. Divide into smaller parts, break the continuity of, as in These meetings have cut up my whole day. [c. 1800]
2. Severely censure or criticize, as in The reviewer cut up the book mercilessly. [Mid-1700s]
3. be cut up. Be distressed or saddened, as in I was terribly cut up when she left. [Mid-1800s] Charles Dickens used this idiom in A Christmas Carol (1844): "Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event."
4. Behave in a playful, comic, or boisterous way, as in On the last night of camp the children usually cut up. [Late 1800s]
5. cut up rough. Act in a rowdy, angry, or violent way, as in After a beer or two the boys began to cut up rough. [Slang; first half of 1800s]
1. To slice or chop something into smaller pieces: The electrician cut up the wires. We cut the newspapers up.
2. To wound someone by cutting or gashing, especially in multiple places: The mobster grabbed a knife and cut up the witness.
3. To behave in a playful, comic, or boisterous way; clown: That clown cut us all up. The new teacher cut up the class.
4. Slang To criticize someone or something severely: The teacher cut up the lazy student. The judge cut me up for arriving late.
See cut up
1. mod. alcohol intoxicated. He got cut on beer, which is unusual for him.
2. tv. to dilute something. She always cuts her eggnog with cola. Yuck!
3. n. a share of the loot or the profits. (Originally underworld.) You’ll get your cut when everybody else does.
4. n. a single song or section of music on a record. This next cut is one everybody likes.
5. tv. to eliminate something; to stop (doing something). Okay, chum, cut the clowning.
6. mod. muscular; with well-defined muscles, especially in reference to the abdominal muscles. He works out and he’s really cut!
7. mod. circumcised. (Not usually prenominal.) I’m not cut and neither is my brother.
mod. having well-defined abdominal muscles. Andy works hard to try to get a gut that’s cut.
cut/give (someone) some slack
Slang To make an allowance for (someone), as in allowing more time to finish something.