cut down

(redirected from cut them down)

cut down

1. Literally, to chop something down, as of a tree. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "down." Unfortunately, we'll have to cut down that old tree because the inspector thinks it could fall on our house in a bad storm.
2. To insult or disparage someone, often publicly. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is typically used between "cut" and "down." I can't believe she cut me down in front of the entire department just because I was a few minutes late to the meeting.
3. To undermine or debunk something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "down." Confirmation of the suspect's alibi cut my theory down pretty quickly.
4. To reduce something. My doctor told me that I need to cut down on eating fried foods in order to improve my cholesterol. If the school board cuts down on funding for the arts, then what will become of the theater program?
5. To remove the extras or adornments from something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "down." I like the apartment, but I need to cut down the decorations a little—it's much too fancy for me.
6. To kill someone. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "down." Oh, I'll cut down that informant before he speaks to the police again, don't worry. So many of our young men and women have been cut down by this needless war.
See also: cut, down
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cut someone down (to size)

 and take someone down (to size)
Fig. to make a person humble; to put one in one's place. John's critical remarks really cut me down to size. Jane is too conceited. I think her new boss will take her down to size.
See also: cut, down

cut someone down

to kill someone with a weapon, such as a sword, or with gunfire, etc. The bandits cut the bystanders down and fled. The gunman cut down an innocent pedestrian.
See also: cut, down

cut something down

 
1. Lit. to chop something down; to saw or cut at something until it is felled. Stop cutting the banners down! Don't cut down that tree!
2. Fig. to destroy someone's argument; to destroy someone's position or standing. The lawyer cut the testimony down quickly. The lawyer cut down the witness's story.
3. to reduce the price of something. They cut the prices down to sell the goods off quickly. I wish they would cut down the prices in this store.
See also: cut, down

cut down (on something)

to reduce the amount of something or of doing something; to use or buy less of something. You will have to cut down on the time it takes you to get ready in the morning. The doctor told him to cut down on his drinking.
See also: cut, down
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cut down

1. Kill, as in The troops were cut down one by one as they crossed the field. [Early 1800s]
2. Also, cut down on. Reduce, decrease, as in I want to cut down my caffeine intake, or We have to cut down on our expenses. [Mid-1800s]
3. cut down to size; knock down to size. Reduce the self-importance of, humble, as in He's so arrogant-I wish someone would cut him down to size, or She really got knocked down to size when her class ranking slipped. [Early 1900s]
See also: cut, down
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cut down

v.
1. To chop something down: The loggers cut down trees from the forest. I cut the overgrown shrubs down.
2. To reduce the amount of something done, used, or taken: I need to cut down on shopping this month. They need to cut their drinking down. We've been gambling too much—we need to cut down.
3. To reduce something, as a price: They're cutting down all the prices at the mall. The company is cutting bonuses down this year.
4. To kill or incapacitate someone: The troops were cut down in battle. Before there were vaccines, many people were cut down by polio.
5. To belittle or discredit someone or something, especially in front of others: The boss cut me down in front of my subordinates. The prosecutor cut down the defendant's testimony.
6. To alter something by removing extra or additional fittings: The shop cut down my car for racing. Let's buy those old trucks and cut them down for work on the back roads.
See also: cut, down
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Attention will be given to treating the trees, and there is no plan to cut them down, he said.
Phormiums, or New Zealand Flax as it is commonly known, throws up these great long flowering shoots - you don't need to cut them down but you can if you wish, to tidy the appearance of the shrub.
Phormiums, or New Zealand Flax as it is commonly know, throws up these great long flowering shoots - you don't need to cut them down but you can if you wish, to tidy the appearance of the shrub.
For the first time since 1925 riparian forests will no longer be classified as forests and it will be lawful to cut them down without any control from the state.
"Villa will have down periods next season and the season after, but if you manage to cut them down from two or three months to two or three weeks that means 20 points more at the end of the season.
I don't know if it is the council who have let this happen, but will whoever is responsible please cut them down or put some weedkiller on them?
A total of 33 so-called Memorial Trees were in jeopardy after Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced plans to cut them down, saying they had been deemed a safety hazard.
The Tree Farmer opens as a grandson asks his grandfather why the family tends trees with so much love, only to cut them down. In response, the grandfather teaches the boy about the majesty of each tree, and how their contributions have a lasting destiny that goes far beyond the tree's death--one will become paper that holds great ideas, another the frame of a bed which will hold limitless dreams.
"There's only three trees on that island, you shouldn't cut them down," he says with a worried look on his face.
When clearing the plants, cut them down to the roots and leave them in the soil to rot down.
State troopers cut them down with tear gas, whips, and clubs.
When they have finished flowering, cut them down and cover the crown with sand, peat or straw during winter.
Richard Hughes had set sail for home a quarter-mile from the finish on Tamburlaine, who swept into a clear lead only for Dilshaan and Murtagh to cut them down in the final furlong.
Continue to take cuttings in the greenhouse and where early dahlias are too big cut them down and pot on to encourage a more bushy plant.
Shall I prune the trees or shall I cut them down altogether?