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."

Primary Meanings of cut back

1.
v
cultivate, tend, and cut back the growth of
2.
v
cut down on; make a reduction in
3.
v
return in time
Full Definitions of cut back
1

v cultivate, tend, and cut back the growth of

Synonyms:
clip, crop, dress, lop, prune, snip, trim
Types:
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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

v cut down on; make a reduction in

Synonyms:
bring down, cut, cut down, reduce, trim, trim back, trim down
cut
have a reducing effect
Types:
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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

v place restrictions on

Synonyms:
curb, curtail, restrict
Types:
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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"
3

v return in time

“the film cut back to an earlier event in the story”
Synonyms:
flash back
Type of:
return
go or come back to place, condition, or activity where one has been before

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