cut down

Idioms & Phrases

cut down

  1. Kill, as in The troops were cut down one by one as they crossed the field. [Early 1800s]

  2. Also, cut down on. Reduce, decrease, as in I want to cut down my caffeine intake, or We have to cut down on our expenses. [Mid-1800s]

  3. cut down to size; . Reduce the self-importance of, humble, as in He's so arrogantI wish someone would cut him down to size, or She really got knocked down to size when her class ranking slipped. [Early 1900s]

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