cut down

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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

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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Smokers should quit instead of cutting down, using appropriate cessation aids if needed, to significantly reduce their risk of these two common major disorders.
She added that concerning the cutting down of trees, residents patrol Larnaca Avenue in a bid to alert the Green party at any time in case they see someone attempting to cut down the trees.
At the magistrate's court, the suspect added: "Nobody saw me cutting down trees, I was only seen lighting a fire, which didn't disturb anyone.
Podles of 9 Shady Lane sued the town in 2007, saying it was responsible for illegally cutting down the trees, at Northwest Main Street and Oak Street.
I say this because we constantly harp on about Brazil cutting down trees but on walking down Church Street what do we see?
This will alleviate whole sections, whole divisions, whole directorates of people, significantly cutting down the bureaucracy.
Dear Editor, - It seems to me that the Calthorpe Estate is steadily cutting down all the beautiful mature trees in Edgbaston under the pretence that they are all diseased.
Aon said the system would reduce rekeying, cutting down on errors and queries.
He said: "I knew after the Taylor match that I needed to lose weight and I'm trying to do that with exercise, eating well and cutting down on my drink.
Techniques and mind-sets which led the way in one society at one particular period (for example, sanitary "science" in England after 1830 and the germ theory in the German lands after the mid 1860s) succeeded in cutting down mortality rates from certain infectious diseases: this improvement was reflected in official statistics.
If hotel owners will be able to withstand the temptation of cutting down prices indiscriminately and forcing their competitors to compete with even lower rates, the situation will significantly improve by next year.
All that paper has to come from somewhere, and that means cutting down trees faster than ever before.
Q: My neighbor has been cutting down his trees because he says they shed and make a mess.
Much of our paper in Canada comes from logging (cutting down trees) in our forests.
According to Anderson, this technology has reduced the noise in aircraft cabins by cutting down on vibration in the walls, which are typically made up of many large panels of thin, unstiffened metal.