cut back

To cut back is to trim something that's growing, like your front lawn or the crazy vines on the side of your house. You can even cut back on your spending, if it's out of control.

You can cut back your rose bush, and you can also cut back on the amount of money you spend, or reduce it. When someone curbs or restricts, it cuts back: "My coach cut back on the amount of time I spend on the field." The verb cut probably comes from a Germanic root also meaning "to cut," and it's related to both the Swedish kuta and the Old Norse kuti, both meaning "knife."

Definitions of cut back
  1. verb
    cultivate, tend, and cut back the growth of
    synonyms: clip, crop, dress, lop, prune, snip, trim
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    shear
    cut with shears
    poll, pollard
    convert into a pollard
    pinch, top
    cut the top off
    disbud
    thin out buds to improve the quality of the remaining flowers
    tail
    remove the stalk of fruits or berries
    type of:
    thin out
    make sparse
  2. verb
    cut down on; make a reduction in
    synonyms: bring down, cut, cut down, reduce, trim, trim back, trim down
    cut
    have a reducing effect
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    shorten
    make shorter than originally intended; reduce or retrench in length or duration
    spill
    reduce the pressure of wind on (a sail)
    quench
    reduce the degree of (luminescence or phosphorescence) in (excited molecules or a material) by adding a suitable substance
    retrench
    make a reduction, as in one's workforce
    slash
    cut drastically
    thin out
    make sparse
    thin
    make thin or thinner
    detract, take away
    take away a part from; diminish
    deflate
    reduce or cut back the amount or availability of, creating a decline in value or prices
    inflate
    increase the amount or availability of, creating a rise in value
    downsize
    reduce in size or number
    subtract
    take off or away
    knock off, shave
    cut the price of
    foreshorten
    shorten lines in a drawing so as to create an illusion of depth
    clip, curtail, cut short
    terminate or abbreviate before its intended or proper end or its full extent
    syncopate
    omit a sound or letter in a word
    cut short, truncate
    make shorter as if by cutting off
    draw
    reduce the diameter of (a wire or metal rod) by pulling it through a die
    clip, crop, dress, lop, prune, snip, trim
    cultivate, tend, and cut back the growth of
    mark down
    reduce the price of
    type of:
    decrease, lessen, minify
    make smaller
  3. verb
    place restrictions on
    synonyms: curb, curtail, restrict
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    abridge
    lessen, diminish, or curtail
    immobilise, immobilize
    cause to be unable to move
    paralyse, paralyze
    cause to be paralyzed and immobile
    stun, stupefy
    make senseless or dizzy by or as if by a blow
    type of:
    circumscribe, confine, limit
    restrict or confine, "I limit you to two visits to the pub a day"
  4. verb
    return in time
    “the film cut back to an earlier event in the story”
    synonyms: flash back
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    type of:
    return
    go or come back to place, condition, or activity where one has been before
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