Definition of cutoff in English:



  • 1Of or constituting a limit.

    ‘the cutoff date to register is July 2’
    • ‘It proposed that affirmative action be limited to initial preferential treatment, and that a cut-off date be fixed for the programme.’
    • ‘The ever competitive McEnroe has a few years to come playing at this level because the cut-off age is 60.’
    • ‘‘The cut-off levels adhered to by the IOC and IAAF of two nanograms for men and five for women are well above the levels of nandrolone produced by the body,’ she said.’
    • ‘Oils based on the new generation would fall below a critical cut-off point under which no hydrogenation is necessary.’
    • ‘The matching payment would be slowly reduced for every extra $1,000 an individual earns, up to a cut-off income level of $45,000 a year.’
    • ‘Past figures show that there are likely to be hundreds of thousands of tourists who need to renew their passports between the cut-off date of October 26 and the point at which biometric passports finally become available.’
    • ‘The cut-off limit for family income, which determines eligibility for the scheme, varies between £20,000 and £30,000 in different LEAs.’
    • ‘The cut-off level for each risk factor was based on the median response from the questionnaire for each risk factor.’
    • ‘These days, more and more young people from disadvantaged areas were going to college but this good development was being eroded by the cut-off income levels and the increase in registration fees.’
    • ‘The original deadline for registration was March 31, but it was extended by a month when only 100000 registered before the March cut-off date.’
    • ‘The cut-off date by which Standard Life members can hope to share in the bonanza is now looming.’
    • ‘There was uncertainty about the cut-off level.’
    • ‘If this occurs, the concentration of the drug in the urine specimen will be reduced, perhaps below positive cut-off levels.’
    • ‘Drink large quantities of water shortly before the test, greatly diluting the small amounts of drug/metabolites in the urine to below the cut-off level for reporting a positive result.’
    • ‘In elections, knowing the firm cut-off date is pretty important, in part because you want clear rules that guide judges, and diminish the risk that the decision will be a result of political bias.’
    • ‘The foreign institutional investors are permitted to hedge the market value of their entire investment in equity as on a particular date without any reference to a cut-off date.’
    • ‘The cut-off date for registering such properties is being worked out, the sources said.’
    • ‘I like to think of all these as simply banned completely because it is so difficult (usually impossible) to predict what amount of use will still test below the cut-off levels.’
    • ‘Other similar studies included fewer cases than ours, yet further refinement of the acceptable cut-off level for concentration would require studies of at least several hundred cases.’
    • ‘I talked to someone charming and helpful who said that they could move the cut-off date by one day, if I sent all the paperwork back to them by recorded delivery to arrive on the 25th.’
  • 2(of a device) producing an interruption or cessation of a power or fuel supply.

    ‘a cutoff valve’
    • ‘Faulty burglar alarms and those which are not fitted with automatic cut-off devices will be targeted by environmental health officers in Barnsley this week.’
    • ‘Additional safety features include a fuel cut-off switch that is activated by the airbag sensor to reduce fire risk.’
    • ‘We feel bad about the fuel cut-off switch but it wasn't in our control.’
    • ‘Today's launch of Space Shuttle Discovery has been postponed due to an issue with a low-level fuel cut-off sensor on-board the vehicle.’
    • ‘Last night's problem was with one of the four engine cut-off sensors, which are responsible for making sure the spacecraft's main engines shut down at the proper point during the ascent.’
    • ‘Not only must hill rally vehicles adhere to basic road legislation, they must befitted with a valid fire extinguisher, safety engine cut-off device, roll-cage and adequate silencer.’
  • 3(of an item of clothing) having been cut short.

    ‘a cutoff T-shirt’
    • ‘Girls had laid towels on the grass, and were stretched out in the sun wearing tiny pairs of shorts or hitched-up skirts and cut-off vests or bikini tops.’
    • ‘They stood side by side in what was the common attire of Muscle Beach muscleheads - cut-off sweats, flip-flops and well-worn T-shirts.’
    • ‘Her lithe body did little to dispel this image, even dressed as she was in a tight halter top over a blue thermal shirt, cut-off daisy dukes over black tights and beat-up Doc Martins.’
    • ‘Matt is startled when an incredibly hunky number in a tie-dyed tank top and cut-off denim shorts suddenly picks up Chandler in his massive arms.’
    • ‘She put on a pair of denim cut-off Capri's and a hot pink tank top.’
  • 4(of a person) isolated from or no longer having access to someone or something.

    ‘aid to the cutoff troops in the north’
    • ‘All was good up until the wormhole collapsed due to unknown reasons (I hate when that happens) and the population was cut-off from Earth.’
    • ‘It follows two deaf-mute dockers who are completely cut-off from the outside world and are constantly pursued by groups of jeering children.’
    • ‘The dragon had them cut-off, there was no escape from the doom.’
    • ‘Thus deprived, the out-of-work rulers fell upon wasteful ways and were cut-off completely from their subjects and their problems.’
    • ‘Therapists who are attuned to experiences of clients cut-off from sense of self by trauma and depression will find it worthwhile to pursue this volume.’
    • ‘She was often so involved in her own thoughts that she seemed cut-off and ‘spacey’ to her friends.’


  • 1A point or level that is a designated limit of something.

    ‘1 p.m. is the cutoff for being out of the woods’
    • ‘The particular cut-off that we used was that those babies that stayed beyond a corrective age of 36 weeks gestation tended to be the ones that didn't seem to do so well.’
    • ‘When samples from a particular area have to be processed routinely, it is better to determine the ideal cut-off by carrying out serosurveys and finding out the distribution of titres in the community.’
    • ‘This cut-off was selected because the receiver operating characteristics of the portable monitor are optimal at this point.’
    • ‘Because this EIA was manufactured as a qualitative test, a calibrator and additional control specimens were needed to determine the threshold cut-off and to monitor the assay performance.’
    • ‘The big Aussie missed the cut-off at Sunningdale by a shot, duplicating his display in the US Open qualifying last month.’
    • ‘Don't take the 12-ounce limit as an absolute cut-off, especially if you're relying on calcium-fortified orange juice as a substitute for milk.’
    • ‘Decide whether you want guns built before the FFL cut-off of 1898.’
    • ‘Boys who scored above the cut-off for any other scale (except conduct disorder) were excluded from the study.’
    • ‘In cases where adult and immature birds exhibited differences in timing, either only one age class was subjected to a date cut-off or separate date cut-offs were chosen for each age class.’
    • ‘The cut-off was determined by dividing the optical density of positive and negative controls.’
    isolated, remote, out of the way, outlying, off the beaten track, in the depths of …, hard to find, lonely, in the back of beyond, in the hinterlands, off the map, in the middle of nowhere, godforsaken, obscure, inaccessible, cut-off, tucked away, unreachable
    View synonyms
  • 2An act of stopping or interrupting the supply or provision of something.

    ‘a cutoff of aid would be a disaster’
    • ‘I'm not sure about the situation of cut-off for fuel to pressure North Korea - whether that's true, the Chinese government has never - has not you know, confirmed it.’
    • ‘Rolling power blackouts and heating cut-offs are daily occurrences across vast swathes of Siberia, the far east and central Russia.’
    • ‘The most recent cut-off happened on Friday at San Michele, a 13-storey block of flats in Hillbrow, leaving 65 flats without water.’
    • ‘Income inequality is wider than in the apartheid era, some 20 million people have experienced water or electricity cut-offs, land remains concentrated in white hands and Aids is claiming around 600 lives a day.’
    • ‘Should the US, Canada and the European Union make good on their threat of an aids cut-off, Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, will be devastated.’
    • ‘British officials say several EU countries have raised the possibility of starting consultations with Zimbabwe as a first step in a possible aid cut-off.’
    • ‘In the first five years after the cut-off of Russian aid, the economy contracted by a third.’
    • ‘Electricity cut-offs take place much quicker, sometimes within the month that accounts have not been paid, he said.’
    • ‘Trollip said there was a regular non-payment of accounts for hospitals, resulting in electricity cut-offs.’
    • ‘The organisation fights for getting the senior citizens free basic services like water, cancellation of their debts and to stop evictions and water cut-offs.’
    • ‘Wear and tear plus pressure on pumps during the repeated cut-offs of the water supply might have brought about impurities, contaminating the water.’
    • ‘They are accused of public violence, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and malicious damage to property after a demonstration outside the mayor's house in protest at electricity cut-offs in the city.’
    • ‘Coun Tarry joked that, in the light of the mass cut-off, residents had dubbed the area, Clifton Without, as ‘Clifton Without gas’.’
    • ‘Deeply concerned over power cut-offs to poor parents and lack of social workers, he decides to take a stand against the Communist Party-controlled local council.’
    • ‘South African activists have found popular support by responding to the resultant electricity cut-offs with illegal reconnections.’
    • ‘They never had to contend with the problems of clogged sewers, of water and electricity cut-offs, of telephones not working.’
    • ‘You and Steve are the ones responsible for the supply cut-off.’
    1. 2.1A device for producing an interruption or cessation of a power or fuel supply.
      • ‘But workers at the factory here wear safety glasses, and the equipment has automatic cutoffs to prevent workers from losing fingers.’
      • ‘While common in semi-autos, the cut-off is a real innovation in a pump gun and a welcome improvement.’
      • ‘The kettle boasts 360 degree rotation, a water level gauge, a removable/washable filter, a neon power indicator and an auto cut-off.’
      • ‘Sometimes the vehicle redlines and fuel cut-offs aren't true to life.’
    2. 2.2A sudden drop in amplification or responsiveness of an electric device at a certain frequency.
      [as modifier] ‘a cutoff frequency of 8 Hz’
      • ‘Dynamic behavior such as vibration modes or cut-off frequency of the device under test can be analyzed by the evolution of contrast as the operating frequency increases.’
      • ‘For the optical setup used in this study the inverses of the frequency cutoffs are 229 nm laterally and 814 nm axially.’
      • ‘Aldroubi and Gröchenig have developed a new sampling theory that can handle situations where having such a cut-off frequency is undesirable.’
      • ‘The system behaves as a wave guide excited far beyond its cut-off frequency mode and therefore only the stray field of the coaxial line-wave guide transition is used in the measurement.’
    3. 2.3The stopping of the supply of steam to the cylinders of a steam engine when the piston has traveled a set percentage of its stroke.
      • ‘Consequently, they were worked with a full throttle and the shortest cut-off at which boiler steam pressure and water supply could be maintained.’
  • 3Shorts made by cutting off the legs of a pair of jeans or other trousers above or at the knee and leaving the edges unhemmed.

    • ‘She wore a tank top the color of strawberries and jean cut-offs, and her silver-blond hair was pulled back into a high pony tail.’
    • ‘The local live coverage should focus on that guy running in high-tops and a pair of cut-offs.’
    • ‘For any body type, and in any fabric, shorts falling anywhere between your hip and your knee, schoolboy shorts with or without cuffs, hot pants, knee pants, denim cut-offs - all of 'em are big news right now.’
    • ‘Towering over her by just under a foot, he glared down at the determined woman in blue jean cut-offs and T-shirt standing in front of him.’
    • ‘She was soaked down, the lines of a bathing suit showing through the old black t-shirt she was wearing with a pair of cargo cut-offs and black Chucks.’
    • ‘I gestured to one cover which featured a blond beefcake whose little jean cut-offs were in grave danger of falling off.’
    • ‘The phenomenon doesn't have to be explained further so all of you out there who wear the cut-offs, just know what to do - get rid of them.’
    • ‘The smiling woman was dressed casually in a pair of denim cut-offs and a simple baby blue tank top, her chestnut hair tied up in a pony tail.’
    • ‘Look how cute she is, in her cut-offs and over-sized sweat-shirt.’
    • ‘Throwing a red t-shirt on and pulling on a pair of denim cut-offs, she hopped out of her room.’
    • ‘So out came the red tops, shirts, shoes, underwear and there in the back of the wardrobe, hidden from sight to avoid upset, was this gorgeous pair of red cut-offs that had to be abandoned due to love handles and a bulging posterior last year.’
    • ‘She wore cut-offs and a man's denim shirt knotted below her breasts.’
    • ‘Just as my aunt was reaching out to the officer, about to wave her hand and say something - I don't know what - a woman wearing a red halter top and black cut-offs came forward.’
    • ‘Wearing cut-offs, a baseball cap and sneakers, Shannon appears in profile, walking along a stream, carrying his fishing rod.’
    • ‘She put on a black tank top and a pair of black jean cut-offs.’
    • ‘Lots of the newcomers in the café would look with distaste at the round man in his greasy blue coveralls and black hands, and the laughter of the children in their tee shirts and faded, frayed cut-offs was a bothersome noise to them.’
    • ‘I was committed to my plan out of sheer stubbornness if not near-poverty, and once I changed into some cutoffs and got on a southbound bus to Tulum, I was feeling much better.’
    • ‘Dressed in a long t-shirt and a pair of cut-offs, she was a vision of beauty.’
    • ‘Within a moment, Chris opened the door, wearing a pair of faded jean cut-offs and a green tee shirt.’
    • ‘Growing up, I was quite the tomboy, wearing my hair real short, playing boys' parts in musicals, and swimming in nothing but a pair of cut-offs well past when I should have.’
  • 4North American A shortcut.

    • ‘At Obico a cut-off was built to Canpa in 1910 as a short cut to reach the Joint Section which would allow freight trains to and from Hamilton a direct route to Lambton Yard.’
  • 5Geology
    A pattern of a meandering stream in which a channel cuts a new course to bypass a meander bend.

    • ‘By speeding the flow of floodwaters to the Gulf, the cutoffs also lowered flood heights below the Arkansas River by as much as twelve feet, eventually obviating the need for the construction of a floodway through the Tensas River basin.’
    • ‘But the commission also tried new approaches, building floodways to divert water from the river and digging cutoffs to speed the passage of floodwaters.’