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to cut down
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Cut \Cut\ (k[u^]t), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Cut; p. pr. & vb. n. Cutting.] [OE. cutten, kitten, ketten; prob. of Celtic origin; cf. W. cwtau to shorten, curtail, dock, cwta bobtailed, cwt tail, skirt, Gael. cutaich to shorten, curtail, dock, cutach short, docked, cut a bobtail, piece, Ir. cut a short tail, cutach bobtailed. Cf. Coot.] 1. To separate the parts of with, or as with, a sharp instrument; to make an incision in; to gash; to sever; to divide. [1913 Webster] You must cut this flesh from off his breast. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Before the whistling winds the vessels fly, With rapid swiftness cut the liquid way. --Pope. [1913 Webster] 2. To sever and cause to fall for the purpose of gathering; to hew; to mow or reap. [1913 Webster] Thy servants can skill to cut timer. --2. Chron. ii. 8 [1913 Webster] 3. To sever and remove by cutting; to cut off; to dock; as, to cut the hair; to cut the nails. [1913 Webster] 4. To castrate or geld; as, to cut a horse. [1913 Webster] 5. To form or shape by cutting; to make by incision, hewing, etc.; to carve; to hew out. [1913 Webster] Why should a man. whose blood is warm within, Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster? --Shak. [1913 Webster] Loopholes cut through thickest shade. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 6. To wound or hurt deeply the sensibilities of; to pierce; to lacerate; as, sarcasm cuts to the quick. [1913 Webster] The man was cut to the heart. --Addison. [1913 Webster] 7. To intersect; to cross; as, one line cuts another at right angles. [1913 Webster] 8. To refuse to recognize; to ignore; as, to cut a person in the street; to cut one's acquaintance. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster] 9. To absent one's self from; as, to cut an appointment, a recitation. etc. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster] An English tradesman is always solicitous to cut the shop whenever he can do so with impunity. --Thomas Hamilton. [1913 Webster] 10. (Cricket) To deflect (a bowled ball) to the off, with a chopping movement of the bat. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 11. (Billiards, etc.) To drive (an object ball) to either side by hitting it fine on the other side with the cue ball or another object ball. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 12. (Lawn Tennis, etc.) To strike (a ball) with the racket inclined or struck across the ball so as to put a certain spin on the ball. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 13. (Croquet) To drive (a ball) to one side by hitting with another ball. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] To cut a caper. See under Caper. To cut the cards, to divide a pack of cards into portions, in order to determine the deal or the trump, or to change the cards to be dealt. To cut both ways, to have effects both advantageous and disadvantageous. To cut corners, to deliberately do an incomplete or imperfect job in order to save time or money. To cut a dash or To cut a figure, to make a display of oneself; to give a conspicuous impression. [Colloq.] To cut down. (a) To sever and cause to fall; to fell; to prostrate. "Timber . . . cut down in the mountains of Cilicia." --Knolles. (b) To put down; to abash; to humble. [Obs] "So great is his natural eloquence, that he cuts down the finest orator." --Addison (c) To lessen; to retrench; to curtail; as, to cut down expenses. (d) (Naut.) To raze; as, to cut down a frigate into a sloop. To cut the knot or To cut the Gordian knot, to dispose of a difficulty summarily; to solve it by prompt, arbitrary action, rather than by skill or patience. To cut lots, to determine lots by cuttings cards; to draw lots. To cut off. (a) To sever; to separate. [1913 Webster +PJC] I would to God, . . . The king had cut off my brother's. --Shak. (b) To put an untimely death; to put an end to; to destroy. "Iren[ae]us was likewise cut off by martyrdom." --Addison. (c) To interrupt; as, to cut off communication; to cut off (the flow of) steam from (the boiler to) a steam engine. (d) To intercept; as,, to cut off an enemy's retreat. (e) To end; to finish; as, to cut off further debate. To cut out. (a) To remove by cutting or carving; as, to cut out a piece from a board. (b) To shape or form by cutting; as, to cut out a garment. " A large forest cut out into walks." --Addison. (c) To scheme; to contrive; to prepare; as, to cut out work for another day. "Every man had cut out a place for himself." --Addison. (d) To step in and take the place of; to supplant; as, to cut out a rival. [Colloq.] (e) To debar. "I am cut out from anything but common acknowledgments." --Pope. (f) To seize and carry off (a vessel) from a harbor, or from under the guns of an enemy. (g) to separate from the midst of a number; as, to cut out a steer from a herd; to cut out a car from a train. (h) to discontinue; as, to cut out smoking. To cut to pieces. (a) To cut into pieces; as, to cut cloth to pieces. (b) To slaughter; as, to cut an army to pieces. To cut a play (Drama), to shorten it by leaving out passages, to adapt it for the stage. To cut rates (Railroads, etc.), to reduce the charges for transportation below the rates established between competing lines. To cut short, to arrest or check abruptly; to bring to a sudden termination. "Achilles cut him short, and thus replied." --Dryden. To cut stick, to make off clandestinely or precipitately. [Slang] To cut teeth, to put forth teeth; to have the teeth pierce through the gum and appear. To have cut one's eyeteeth, to be sharp and knowing. [Colloq.] To cut one's wisdom teeth, to come to years of discretion. To cut under, to undersell; as, to cut under a competitor in trade; more commonly referred to as undercut. To cut up. (a) To cut to pieces; as, to cut up an animal, or bushes. (b) To damage or destroy; to injure; to wound; as, to cut up a book or its author by severe criticism. "This doctrine cuts up all government by the roots." --Locke. (c) To afflict; to discourage; to demoralize; as, the death of his friend cut him up terribly. [Colloq.] --Thackeray. [1913 Webster +PJC] .
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Down \Down\, adv. [For older adown, AS. ad[=u]n, ad[=u]ne, prop., from or off the hill. See 3d Down, and cf. Adown, and cf. Adown.] 1. In the direction of gravity or toward the center of the earth; toward or in a lower place or position; below; -- the opposite of up. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence, in many derived uses, as: (a) From a higher to a lower position, literally or figuratively; in a descending direction; from the top of an ascent; from an upright position; to the ground or floor; to or into a lower or an inferior condition; as, into a state of humility, disgrace, misery, and the like; into a state of rest; -- used with verbs indicating motion. [1913 Webster] It will be rain to-night. Let it come down. --Shak. [1913 Webster] I sit me down beside the hazel grove. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster] And that drags down his life. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster] There is not a more melancholy object in the learned world than a man who has written himself down. --Addison. [1913 Webster] The French . . . shone down [i. e., outshone] the English. --Shak. (b) In a low or the lowest position, literally or figuratively; at the bottom of a descent; below the horizon; on the ground; in a condition of humility, dejection, misery, and the like; in a state of quiet. [1913 Webster] I was down and out of breath. --Shak. [1913 Webster] The moon is down; I have not heard the clock. --Shak. [1913 Webster] He that is down needs fear no fall. --Bunyan. [1913 Webster] 3. From a remoter or higher antiquity. [1913 Webster] Venerable men! you have come down to us from a former generation. --D. Webster. [1913 Webster] 4. From a greater to a less bulk, or from a thinner to a thicker consistence; as, to boil down in cookery, or in making decoctions. --Arbuthnot. [1913 Webster] Note: Down is sometimes used elliptically, standing for go down, come down, tear down, take down, put down, haul down, pay down, and the like, especially in command or exclamation. Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke. --Shak. [1913 Webster] If he be hungry more than wanton, bread alone will down. --Locke. Down is also used intensively; as, to be loaded down; to fall down; to hang down; to drop down; to pay down. The temple of Her[`e] at Argos was burnt down. --Jowett (Thucyd.). Down, as well as up, is sometimes used in a conventional sense; as, down East. Persons in London say down to Scotland, etc., and those in the provinces, up to London. --Stormonth. [1913 Webster] Down helm (Naut.), an order to the helmsman to put the helm to leeward. Down on or Down upon (joined with a verb indicating motion, as go, come, pounce), to attack, implying the idea of threatening power. [1913 Webster] Come down upon us with a mighty power. --Shak. Down with, take down, throw down, put down; -- used in energetic command, often by people aroused in crowds, referring to people, laws, buildings, etc.; as, down with the king! "Down with the palace; fire it." --Dryden. To be down on, to dislike and treat harshly. [Slang, U.S.] To cry down. See under Cry, v. t. To cut down. See under Cut, v. t. Up and down, with rising and falling motion; to and fro; hither and thither; everywhere. "Let them wander up and down." --Ps. lix. 15. [1913 Webster]