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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Cut-out \Cut"-out`\ (k[u^]t"out`), n. (a)

  1. (Telegraphy) A species of switch for changing the current from one circuit to another, or for shortening a circuit. (b) (Elec.) A device for breaking or separating a portion of circuit.

  2. Something cut out from another object, especially a piece of thick paper or cardboard with a picture on it (as of a person or other object), embedded in a larger sheet of paper and having perforations around the edges of the figure to allow easy removal from the larger sheet.

  3. A valve in the exhaust system of an internal combustion engine which, when activated, permits the exhaust gases to bypass the muffler.


n. 1 A device that disconnects an electric circuit 2 A switch used in telegraphy to change the current from one circuit to another, or for shortening a circuit. 3 A space or hole produced when something is removed by cutting; the piece so cut out


Cut-out, cutout, or cut out may refer to:

  • Cutout animation
  • Cutout (electric power distribution), a combination fuse and knife switch used on power poles
  • Cut-out (espionage), a mechanism used to pass information
  • Cut-out (philately), an imprinted stamp cut from an item of postal stationery
  • Cut-out (recording industry), deeply discounted or remaindered recordings
  • Cut out of a scene to make a film editing transition
  • Naval boarding of a ship by small boats
  • Sleeveless shirt
Cut-out (recording industry)

In the recording industry, a cut-out refers to a deeply discounted or remaindered copy of an LP, 45 RPM single, cassette tape, Compact Disc, or other item.

Cut-out (espionage)

In espionage parlance, a cut-out is a mutually trusted intermediary, method or channel of communication, facilitating the exchange of information between agents. Cutouts usually only know the source and destination of the information to be transmitted, but are unaware of the identities of any other persons involved in the espionage process ( need to know basis). Thus, a captured cutout cannot be used to identify members of an espionage cell.

Cut-out (philately)

In philately a cut-out is an imprinted stamp cut from an item of postal stationery such as a postcard, letter sheet, aerogramme or wrapper and used as a normal stamp.

In Great Britain the postal use of cut-outs was banned under the Post Office Act of 1870. This prohibition was in force until 31 December 1904. In 1905, Herbert L'Estrange Ewen published a booklet "The Unadhesive Postage Stamps of the UK" meaning postal stationery cut-outs.

Usage examples of "cut-out".

In the end, I got 5000 from the Police Authority, 7000 from a businessman donated through a cut-out, and about 2000 from other sources.

Neither relatives nor acquaintances, they had come to watch the slow mental torture of the prisoner in the dock, though to them the whole case was unreal and novelettish, as if the characters involved were no more than cardboard cut-outs designed from the latest thriller.

The drillship was leased through Libya under an agreement whereby Drioga would supply all technical and support personnel, and there were ample cut-outs in the arrangements.

But a young female Froofy fan could be a very useful cut-out in some dicey negotiations.

They waved to Caley Bard and descended the hill in single file, like cut-out figures in black paper against a fading green sky.

The Queen smiled aloofly from a calendar, pinned to the wall between newspaper cut-outs of the Rolling Stones and a large framed oil of a Roman lady stabbing herself.

Still pondering her comments, I thought of Favrielle nó Eglantine and wondered what she would make of Marie-Celeste Stregazza's attire, which, from what I had seen, was the height of Serenissiman stylea long, sleeveless overdress gaudily adorned with appliques and cut-outs, bound beneath the breasts with gold net and worn over a fine silk tunic with tight-fitting sleeves.

On the private side of the bathroom door she's had to take two damp towels off the top of to close all the way, the same rotten old hook for a lock never quite ever seeming to want to fit its receptacle in the jamb, the party's music now some horrible collection of mollified rock classics with all soft rock's grim dental associations, the business side of the door is hung with a Selective Automation of Knoxville calendar from before Subsidized Time and cut-out photos of Kinski as Paganini and Léaud as Doinel and a borderless still of the crowd scene in what looks like Peterson's The Lead Shoes and rather curiously the offprinted page of J.

They were an out-of-state professional crew, based in Los Angeles, contactable through an intermediary in Dallas and a second cut-out in Vegas.

We passed a big white two storied Monterey house that must have cost $70,000 and had a cut-out illuminated sign in front: Cairn Terriers.

Turning right, they saw huge blow-ups of Cecilia and Hermione as Donna Anna and Donna Elvira and even a cardboard cut-out of Georgie clutching a rock.

A hairdresser's next door to it displayed a faded cardboard cut-out of a blonde model in the window.

He reached out to catch hold of something so that he didn't fall down and his outstretched hand knocked over a cardboard cut-out of Tom Cruise, which toppled backwards and hit a cardboard Titanic, which in turn crashed against a cardboard Mighty Joe Young, and so on and so forth, like a row of candy-colored dominoes, stars falling against ships falling against monsters, all toppling back into a darkness so deep they were an indistinguishable heap.

Viewed from the side, his frame is so flat that he seems like a life-size cardboard cut-out.

But here they were anyway, one of them clutching a cardboard cut-out Kurt Cobain, one of them in a plaster cast, one of them crying, all of them bound to each other in ways that it would be almost impossible to explain to anyone who had just wandered in.