1. A murderer, especially one who cuts throats.
2. An unprincipled, ruthless person.
3. A cutthroat trout.
1. Cruel; murderous.
2. Relentless or merciless in competition: a cutthroat business.
3. Sports & Games Being a form of a game in which each of three or more players acts and scores individually: cutthroat handball; cutthroat bridge.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.