Definition of cut-out in English:



  • 1A shape cut out of board or another material.

    ‘a life-size cut-out’
    • ‘These are the proxy friends in the bank and life size cut-outs in the banking hall reassure the punters that they may not be there in person, but they are watching over them.’
    • ‘Yes, I had a life size cut-out of Boba Fett in my house for way too long.’
    • ‘A lot of people are beginning to think that some of them are card board cut-outs.’
    • ‘As with the twisted form in ‘Bedlam in a Bottle’, the printed figures appear like cut-outs, the clothes stiff and angular like funeral weeds in black taffeta.’
    • ‘Perhaps I should make a life-size cut-out of my boss in secret and sit at the front desk one day…’
    • ‘The central figure is much the least distorted, but even so her body is simply a flat silhouette like a metal cut-out which has been slightly twisted in a few places to give a suggestion of three dimensions.’
    • ‘It is amusing to count the number of places where you can spot cut-outs of the artist's face.’
    • ‘My sister used to work in a record shop, and they'd frequently get life-sized cut-outs of stars to display on the premises, which would come to a horrible end in the alley round the back.’
    • ‘George Jones once drove around Memphis for a week, high on gak, and talking to a lifesize cut-out of Elvis Presley.’
    • ‘Plastic cut-outs of school founders Marlene and George Edland will join thousands of others representing people from across the nation at Parliament House in Canberra.’
    • ‘The ‘Vietnam film’ corner - bullet casings, camouflage nets - sits among full size cut-outs of obscure Hungarian heart-throbs.’
    • ‘The figures were flat cut-outs; it was all very pixelated and the players themselves hardly resembled their live counterparts - apart from their skin colour.’
    • ‘The figures are life-size cut-outs, silhouetted against the stark white walls, which gives them a three-dimensional sculptural quality.’
    • ‘Then he saw Mella's life-size Angel cut-out and made a confused face.’
    • ‘We have a life-size cut-out of Frank so he is with us to see the game.’
    • ‘In one corner is a cut-out of Sonia, head covered and hands folded in a ‘namaste’.’
    • ‘The director who wins the most ‘bananas’ - a cut-out of a banana that is used to tally points on a scoreboard - wins a week of quality time with the resident gorilla.’
    • ‘Unlike the previous years when the city's skyline used to be dotted with huge cut-outs of leaders, walls pasted with bills and streets littered with notices of various parties, they look barren still.’
    • ‘The town water tower has a faded painting of the Man of Steel emblazoned on it; several stores have life-sized headless Superman cut-outs that you can pose behind if you're skinny enough.’
    • ‘Black cats were everywhere and I also spotted a huge cut-out of a witch stirring her evil cauldron!’
    1. 1.1 A person perceived as characterless or lacking in individuality.
      ‘this film's protagonists are cardboard cut-outs’
      • ‘The result is long passages of simplistic monologue explaining basic Marxism in an entirely unconvincing manner, making the characters appear as cardboard cut-outs.’
      • ‘His characters prove more than cardboard comedy cut-outs, and the four members of the cast rise to the challenge superbly.’
      • ‘The supporting roles are no cardboard cut-outs either with a memorable gaggle of characters like the war veteran arcade owner and Taeko's upbeat girlfriends.’
      • ‘He is a cardboard cut-out, not a real adversary.’
      • ‘Why is the incumbent President (one even has to qualify which one!) acting like a cardboard cut-out in this matter?’
      • ‘The concept of a human character has been replaced by a cardboard cut-out, each of which serves one of two purposes: to run away from the dinosaurs or to be eaten by them.’
      • ‘Impressively, the film also fleshes out its secondary characters, in particular the parents, too often reduced cardboard cut-outs.’
      • ‘But it was clear that all the money had been spent on making the film look good, and the talent had been replaced by cardboard cut-outs.’
      • ‘These aren't just cardboard cut-outs playing against a blank background: these are people acting like people, looking like people, and moving through a fully realised world.’
      • ‘History might be a morality play, but it doesn't mean that its participants are stereotyped cardboard cut-outs.’
      • ‘It's just that I've seen too many enthusiastic men for God crushed by a four-year study programme and student debts, squeezed into a mould they don't fit in order to produce more cardboard cut-outs on graduation.’
      • ‘The locals are portrayed as credible characters, albeit with their own set of very distinctive idiosyncrasies, rather than the predictable cardboard cut-outs who usually tend to populate such films.’
      • ‘The characters are cardboard cut-outs with little to distinguish them from each other, and the show is too long.’
      • ‘Those representing the criminal underworld could just about be interchangeable cardboard cut-outs.’
      • ‘And in a world where we no longer call a spade a spade but a multi-purpose topsoil cultivator, we need characters not cardboard cut-outs.’
      • ‘As it is, the book is an invaluable source for those interested in Tory history over three decades, but it is a shame that the protagonist should appear as a cardboard cut-out of self-righteous disappointment.’
      • ‘Some people thought the author was a genius, but others dismissed him as a charlatan who had merely strung together a necklace of ideas and facts and characters who were little more than cardboard cut-outs.’
      • ‘Building cardboard cut-outs into flesh-and-blood characters is a worthy endeavour, but Joe as the ageing Lothario and KC as the young stud doesn't do it.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the screenplay offers no fingerholds - characters are cardboard cut-outs, the plot detours wildly from logic.’
      • ‘But, if the film-makers had invested in real characters instead of cardboard cut-outs, it would have been a lot better.’
  • 2A hole cut in something for decoration or to allow the insertion of something else.

    ‘the mains output socket is fitted into a suitable cut-out on the rear panel’
    • ‘Shapes are stencilled onto coloured papers to make cut-outs, and onto photos, for cropping them into interesting shapes.’
    • ‘It comes with a flip-up section and has cut-outs so that some important parts of the mainboard such as the OTES housing are visible.’
    • ‘However the panel has a cut-out which allows status information to be seen without needing to move the fascia, so presumably voice activation would be the simplest way of dialing a number.’
    • ‘The decor is simple, stylish and contemporary, in neutral colours, and not overdone - I particularly liked the strange cylindrical cut-outs in the ceiling.’
    • ‘The apple, pumpkin, and blueberry pies were all glazed a golden brown, decorated with fringes, cut-outs and cinnamon, and they were every bit as good as everyone had promised.’
    • ‘All this is why Herzigova's gold dress, slit to the waist with a cut-out at the hip, is such a salvation.’
    • ‘Now, many knives feature cut-outs, colored handles and fancy inlays.’
    • ‘In the picture you will notice the cut-out in the board.’
    • ‘Finally, above where their grandfather clock used to be, there was a cut-out of a square.’
    • ‘At the top of the tube there are two opposed semi-circular cut-outs which allow the air at the end of the tube to communicate with the air in the small clearance area around the inside of the bulge.’
    • ‘The fabrics and eclectic prints are worked in original ways, with the intersecting pieces creating cut-outs and keyholes.’
    • ‘When mounted externally the metal backing plate has two cut-outs to allow the tubing to pass outside the case.’
    • ‘Once your invites are complete, drop them in envelopes, address and decorate with festive fall stickers or cut-outs.’
    • ‘The front cut-outs on the bonnet have been sealed and air now flows in through the spoiler before heading to the brake ducts for extra cooling.’
    • ‘The RIB also takes on water over the transom far too easily, not just at the cut-out for the outboard but over the transom itself.’
    • ‘A row of diamond shaped cut-outs lined the right side of the dress.’
    • ‘Houses are decorated with colourful festoons, stars and cut-outs depicting the Lord Jesus' life and, of course, the quintessential Christmas tree.’
    • ‘The brutal cut-outs stand in effective stark contrast to the gentle, slow art of pinhole photography.’
    • ‘One is the text, the other the idiotic design - lots of totally meaningless diagonal lines and demented cut-outs dropped in irritating positions on potentially really nice and informative photos.’
  • 3A device that automatically breaks an electric circuit for safety and either resets itself or can be reset.

    ‘there's a thermal cut-out to prevent overheating’
    • ‘Lock-up is via a rising block that engages a cut-out in the steel barrel extension.’
    • ‘But none of the ten brands provided for this non-self resetting thermal cut-out and, therefore, none conformed to the parameter for the abnormal operation test.’
    • ‘Brakes, overloads, spring catches, monitors and cut-outs that will prevent a lift full of punters from tumbling to a lifty death.’