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

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

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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
American writer Shawn Levy vividly recaptures the spirit of the era, profiling the leading figures and throwing out a mass of intriguing, illuminating anecdotes and recollections along with some cuttingly acerbic assessments that match the pace and excitement of the 1960s.
More cuttingly, "Brooklyn" describes how his dad spent three days trying to do a jigsaw of a tiger - only for manager Alex Ferguson to come round and shout: "David, put the Frosties back in the box
Even at 49 years and five months and much too old to be called a Bimbo for Blair - the phrase Mowlam herself cuttingly coined to describe some of New Labour's bright young things.
Foreign Office legal adviser Elizabeth Wilmshurst, who resigned over the war, had cuttingly pointed out that barrister-turned-minister Jack Straw was "not an international lawyer".
Her latest album has been cuttingly called ``valley of the dull'', and she has been tagged ``the least fun adolescent in history'' and ``17 going on 47".
Tuesday's cast (principals vary during the week) was headed by the Tosca of the personable and enchanting Manami Hama, beautifully projected vocally (after a few gusty moments early on) and with some cuttingly dark, cursing tones.
Delighted by the recent dismissal of the Dutchman, Knight senior cuttingly remarked: "Gullit getting the sack was the best thing that could have happened to the club.
As Sandra and Denise failed to spot a sketch which meant bingo, Bob cuttingly observed: "You've been out of the real world too long, girls.
Infinitely more enjoyable was Corder's contemporary choreography for La Baiser de la fee which produced a series of exquisite tableaux, magical costumes and cuttingly sharp dance which is what we want from this company.
But on Saturday the nightmare was revisited, right down to the post-match victory dance on the pitch and the cuttingly triumphalist chants of the Gunners supporters.
La Plante also apparently said cuttingly that, in soaps, stars only have 'little pockets of scenes to rehearse', while she needs someone who can deliver more than that.
The clip of her trying to shear away a cow's hoof turned into another disaster with her tutor commenting rather cuttingly, "When she's using the knives, I'm not sure she knows what she is aiming for.
Cuttingly entitled How The Other Half Live, the programme encapsulates the national feeling towards those with money, but it also reveals how times have changed for the rich and privileged.
Gorgeous but dilapidated' was the way Quentin Bell described her while Virginia Woolf more cuttingly wrote: 'She takes the utmost pains to set off her beauty as though it were some rare object picked up in a dusky Florentine back street.