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cut up definition


This page has 13 definitions of cut up in English. Cut up is a verb and adjective. Examples of how to use cut up in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: cutup and cut-up




cut up (third-person singular simple present cuts up, present participle cutting up, simple past and past participle cut up)

  1. (transitive) To cut into smaller pieces, parts, or sections.
    With a little practice, you can cut up a whole chicken yourself for frying.
  2. (transitive, informal) To lacerate; to wound by multiple lacerations; to injure or damage by cutting, or as if by cutting.
    The attackers cut him up pretty bad.
  3. (transitive, idiomatic) To distress mentally or emotionally.
  4. (transitive, idiomatic, dated) To severely criticize or censure; to subject to hostile criticism.
    The reviewer cut up the book mercilessly.
  5. (intransitive, idiomatic) To behave like a clown or jokester (a cut-up); to misbehave; to act in a playful, comical, boisterous, or unruly manner to elicit laughter, attention, etc.
    We need to talk about Johnny's tendency to cut up in class.
    • 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, chapter 4, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299, page 28:
      I had been cutting up some caper or other—I think it was trying to crawl up the chimney, as I had seen a little sweep do a few days previous; and my stepmother who, somehow or other, was all the time whipping me, or sending me to bed supperless,—my mother dragged me by the legs out of the chimney and packed me off to bed, though it was only two o’clock in the afternoon of the 21st June, the longest day in the year in our hemisphere.
  6. (transitive, idiomatic, Britain) To move aggressively in front of another vehicle while driving.
    Synonym: (US) cut off
    • 2005, Richard Hunter, Righteous Indignation: Driving Psychology, AuthorHouse, →ISBN, page 42:
      If you are a victim of Road Rage, this normally means you may have inadvertently cut someone up on the road, or he may perceive that you have cut him up.
    • 2006, Jane M. Ussher, Managing the Monstrous Feminine: Regulating the Reproductive Body, Routledge, →ISBN, page 170:
      The third gave an account of losing her temper in traffic, after being cut up by another driver, then bursting into tears.
    • a. 2007, “Jones” (former police officer; possible pseudonym), quoted in Tom Rennie, Governors, Guns and Money,, →ISBN, page 78:
      One night coming home from work, I was driving through a quiet housing estate and had a driver cut me up. I had my window open, and mouthed some obscenity towards him.
  7. (intransitive) To disintegrate; to break into pieces.
    • 2012 May 9, Jonathan Wilson, “Europa League: Radamel Falcao's Atlético Madrid rout Athletic Bilbao”, in the Guardian[1]:
      The first match in the magnificent new national stadium was a Euro 2012 qualifier between Romania and France that soon descended into farce as the pitch cut up and players struggled to maintain their footing. Amorebieta at times seemed to be paying homage to that game, but nobody else seemed to have a problem; it was just that Falcao was far better than him.
  8. (slang, dated) To divide into portions well or badly; to have the property left at one's death turn out well or poorly when divided among heirs, legatees, etc.
    • 1848, William Makepeace Thackery, The History of Pendennis:
      When I die, may I cut up as well as Morgan Pendennis.
  9. (informal, racing) Comprise a particular selection of runners.
    The race has cut up badly with no real opposition to "Serendipity".

Derived terms



cut up (comparative more cut up, superlative most cut up)

  1. Having been cut into smaller pieces.
    Put the cut up vegetables in the pot.
  2. Wounded with multiple lacerations.
    He is cut up pretty bad.
  3. (idiomatic, UK, Australia) Emotionally upset; mentally distressed.
    She was seriously cut up over her dog disappearing.
  4. (informal) Muscular and lean.
    I go to the gym to get stronger and cut up.