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P17 Cut Idioms

Purple Level

Lesson Seventeen — extended practice with idioms


cut / cut / cut / cutting

cut = a reduction in spending or in a price.

The government will need to cut spending in certain areas in order to reduce the budget deficit.

cut = a reduction in a team or employment in a company.

Twenty percent of the workers at that company were cut in order to reduce the costs of doing business. (this sentence is in the passive voice.)


cut = to decide not to go to class.

He was given a detention for cutting class.


cut a check = to write a check for money.

We cut a check for $5000 when we bought our car, and then we financed the rest.

cut (one) a deal = enter into a business agreement on favorable terms. also, make a deal.

Do you think you can cut us a deal on this furniture? I don’t want to pay the full price.


cut and dried = easy to see or understand the truth.

The situation in Afghanistan isn’t cut and dried; that’s why the United States is still there.


cut in = to go before someone else who is waiting in a line. (also, cut in front of)

Do you mind if I cut in front of you? I only want to buy these two items.

cut it = to do well; to compete successfully against others.

If Harold can’t cut it as a salesperson, he should think about going into another line of work.


cut it out = stop doing something.

The two boys stopped fighting after the teacher told them to cut it out.

cut (one’s) loses = to get out of a bad business deal; to sell and take a loss.

The company decided it was better to cut its loses now rather than wait until next year to sell some land that was losing its value.


cut off = to stop providing service, usually utilities such as water and electricity.

Ali and Sara couldn’t afford to pay their electric bills anymore, so the electric company cut off their power.

cut (one) off = to get in front of someone; an act of rudeness, usually used for conversation.

The lawyer for the defense was trying to make an important point, but the judge cut her off before she could finish talking.

cut out for = in perfect condition for an activity; to be skilled in an area.

She’s not cut out for camping. In fact, she really hates it.

cut (one’s) own throat = to hurt oneself, usually in an indirect manner.

He’s going to cut his own throat and that of his family if he continues to make risky investments.

cutthroat = merciless; mean; aggressive.

The only way they could stay in business was to take a cutthroat approach towards the competition. But now everyone hates them.

Next: Lesson Eighteen

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