cut back

Idioms & Phrases

cut back

  1. Shorten by cutting, prune, as in It's time we cut back these bushes. [1860s]

  2. Reduce, decrease, as in They are going to cut back defense spending, or We have to cut back production. [c. 1940] Also see cut to the bone.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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