1. Capable of or designed for incising, shearing, or severing: a cutting tool.
2. Sharply penetrating; piercing: a cutting wind.
3. Injuring or capable of injuring the feelings of others: "He can say the driest, most cutting things in the quietest of tones" (Charlotte Brontë).
1. A part cut off from a main body.
2. A part, such as a stem, leaf, or root, removed from a plant to propagate a new plant, as through rooting or grafting.
3. An excavation made through high ground in a construction project.
4. The editing of film or recording tape.
5. Chiefly British A clipping, as from a newspaper.
6. Self-injury in which cuts are made in the skin.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.