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
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            You must cut this flesh from off his breast. --Shak.
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            Before the whistling winds the vessels fly,
            With rapid swiftness cut the liquid way. --Pope.
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   2. To sever and cause to fall for the purpose of gathering;
      to hew; to mow or reap.
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            Thy servants can skill to cut timer.  --2. Chron.
                                                  ii. 8
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   3. To sever and remove by cutting; to cut off; to dock; as,
      to cut the hair; to cut the nails.
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   4. To castrate or geld; as, to cut a horse.
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   5. To form or shape by cutting; to make by incision, hewing,
      etc.; to carve; to hew out.
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            Why should a man. whose blood is warm within,
            Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster? --Shak.
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            Loopholes cut through thickest shade. --Milton.
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   6. To wound or hurt deeply the sensibilities of; to pierce;
      to lacerate; as, sarcasm cuts to the quick.
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            The man was cut to the heart.         --Addison.
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   7. To intersect; to cross; as, one line cuts another at right
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   8. To refuse to recognize; to ignore; as, to cut a person in
      the street; to cut one's acquaintance. [Colloq.]
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   9. To absent one's self from; as, to cut an appointment, a
      recitation. etc. [Colloq.]
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            An English tradesman is always solicitous to cut the
            shop whenever he can do so with impunity. --Thomas
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   10. (Cricket) To deflect (a bowled ball) to the off, with a
       chopping movement of the bat.
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   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

   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."
       (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
       (d) (Naut.) To raze; as, to cut down a frigate into a

   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

   To cut off.
       (a) To sever; to separate.
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                 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
       (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."
       (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
       (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.

   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.

   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."
       (c) To afflict; to discourage; to demoralize; as, the
           death of his friend cut him up terribly. [Colloq.]
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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.
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   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.
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                It will be rain to-night. Let it come down.
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                I sit me down beside the hazel grove.
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                And that drags down his life.     --Tennyson.
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                There is not a more melancholy object in the
                learned world than a man who has written himself
                down.                             --Addison.
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                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.
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                I was down and out of breath.     --Shak.
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                The moon is down; I have not heard the clock.
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                He that is down needs fear no fall. --Bunyan.
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   3. From a remoter or higher antiquity.
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            Venerable men! you have come down to us from a
            former generation.                    --D. Webster.
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   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.
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   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

               Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke.
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               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.
         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.
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   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.
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            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.
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