Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

cut off - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theycut off
he/she/itcuts off
present participlecutting off
past tensecut off
past participlecut off
  1. 1
    to remove something by cutting it

    Cut the tops off the carrots.

    Why did you cut off all your hair?

  2. 2
    same as cut

    The government has threatened to cut off our funding.

    They cut off the electricity last week.

  3. 3
    to stop someone from going somewhere, especially by blocking their way
  4. 4
    to make a place difficult or impossible to enter, leave, or communicate with

    The floods completely cut off the town.

    cut something off from something:

    Our house is cut off from the rest of the town.

    1. a.
      to prevent someone from leaving a place, or from communicating with people in another place

      Having a new baby can cut a young mother off from the adult world.

  5. 5
    to prevent someone from continuing what they are saying

    Don’t cut me off when I’m talking.

  6. 6
    to prevent someone from ever receiving your money or property

    Her father cut her off without a penny.

  7. 7
    cut someone off to stop having a close or friendly relationship with someone

    Why did all his friends suddenly cut him off?

  8. 8
    [usually passive] cut someone off if someone or something cuts you off when you are talking on the telephone, they make the telephone line stop working

    We got cut off in the middle of the call.

    Synonyms and related words
  9. 9
    cut someone off American informal to not allow someone to buy any more alcoholic drinks in a bar because they have already drunk too many
  10. 10
    cut off your nose to spite your face informal to do something that is intended to harm someone even though you know that it will harm you too
See also main entry: cut
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play