cut back(redirected from cutting back)
1. To trim or prune something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "back." I think that cutting back this part of the bush will bring more light into the house.
2. To reduce or decrease something. My doctor told me that I need to cut back on eating fried foods in order to improve my cholesterol. If the school board cuts back funding for the arts, then what will become of the theater program?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
cut something back
to prune plants; to reduce the size of plants, bushes, etc. Let's cut these bushes back. They're getting in the way. Don't cut back my roses!
cut back (on something)
to reduce the use, amount, or cost of something. You are all going to have to cut back on water usage. You simply must cut back on office expenses.
to turn back; to reverse direction. Suddenly, the bull cut back in our direction and began chasing us. The road cuts back about a mile ahead, and it goes west again.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Shorten by cutting, prune, as in It's time we cut back these bushes. [1860s]
2. Reduce, decrease, as in They are going to cut back defense spending, or We have to cut back production. [c. 1940] Also see cut to the bone.
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.
1. To shorten something, as a plant, by cutting; prune something: If I don't cut back the weeds, they will choke the flowers. Let's cut the vines back.
2. To reduce or decrease the amount of something: The factory cut back production because of budget problems. The company cut salaries back this year.
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.