cut down


cut down

Meaning | Synonyms

  • to reduce the amount of something (usually bad)
  • to make something shorter
  • slang for killing someone
  • cut down to size means to humble somebody
  • to insult someone
  • to undermine something
  • reduced in scope or dimension
  • expurgated
  • simplified
  • reduce
  • kill
  • fell

Example Sentences

  1. I am trying to cut down on sugar this month. I would like to lose some weight before going on holiday.
  2. The young officer is so arrogant; I wish someone would cut him down to size.
  3. I have to cut-down the tree outside my office window in order to see the beautiful view.
  4. I am going to cut her down to size. She has an inflated sense of importance.
  5. My boss cut me down in front of our clients on Friday. I spent the whole weekend being angry about it.
  6. The fact that he had an alibi cut down their theory that he was involved in his wife’s murder.
  7. A very old tree in the Park near our house is getting cut-down.
  8. You can stay healthy only if you cut down on your smartphone usage.
  9. New Zealand residents urged to cut-down water use.
  10. I am learning new methods of cutting down on sugar and salt consumption in my food.


The first known use of the phrase dates back to the 1800s. During this time, it was used to describe the act of killing or incapacitating someone.

During this time, it was also used to describe using less of something. It is plausible to believe that the two were related as both had to do with something becoming less.

It has only been used to describe insulting someone since the early 1900s.

Share your opinions2 Opinions

In all examples that I read about this phrase, nouns were used after it. Will somebody tell me if I can use a verb after it? For instance, Can I say: I’ve decided to cut down going there. Thanks

‒ Abbas Bouazar September 5, 2021

In the Middle English story of King Arthur, the king kills a giant. First he cut off his legs at the knees, literally cutting him down to size, and before dispatching him with Excalibur basically taunts him in Buffy the Vampire Slayer style, and this is a rough translation of the Middle English, “you are too tall by half, to be honest I hate that. You’ll be much more handsome at this height…” and then he administers the coup de grace. Arthur apparently liked to rub it in, which now, by the way, is a phrase that I seem to want to know the answer to 🙂

‒ Craig Scognamiglio May 9, 2020

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