"short sword or large knife with a flat, wide, slightly curved blade," used for cutting more than thrusting, 1590s, from French coutelas (16c.), which is probably from Italian coltellaccio "large knife," with augmentative suffix -accio + coltello "knife," from Latin cultellus "small knife," diminutive of culter "knife, plowshare," from PIE *kel-tro-, suffixed form of root *skel- (1) "to cut." Not related to cut.
c. 1400, "penetrating or dividing by an edge," present-participle adjective from cut (v.). As "wounding or deeply affecting the feelings," 1580s. Related: Cuttingly.
Cutting-edge is by 1825 in the literal sense "cutting surface of a blade or tool" (often at first with reference to plows); figurative sense "highest or most advanced state of development" is from 1964.
also short-cut, "path taken between two places not as long as the ordinary way," 1580s (figurative), from short (adj.) + cut (n.) in the sense "passage, course, or way straight across" (1570s). As a verb, "take a shortcut, cross by a shortcut, overtake by means of a shortcut," by 1915. Related: Shortcutting.
The Romans began to cut the hair about A.U.C. 454, when Ticinius Maenas introduced Barbers from Sicily. Then they began to cut, curl, and perfume it. The glass was consulted as now upon rising from the barber's chair. [Rev. Thomas Dudley Fosbroke, "Encyclopædia of Antiquities," London, 1825]
Related: Haircutter; haircutting.
1796, "performed with dash, impetuous;" from 1801 as "given to cutting a dash," a colloquial expression attested from 1786 (see cut (v.)) for "acting brilliantly," from dash (n.) in the sense of "showy appearance" (1715). Earlier in the sense of "splashing" (1620s), which replaced dashende (mid-15c.) as a present-participle adjective. Related: Dashingly.
late 12c. as a surname, "one who cuts" in any sense, "one who shapes or forms by cutting," agent noun from cut (v.). From 1630s as "instrument or tool for cutting."
As a type of small, single-masted vessel, from 1762, earlier "double-banked boat belonging to a ship of war" (1745); perhaps so called from the notion of moving quickly, or of "cutting" through the water.
Revenue cutter, a light-armed government vessel commissioned for the prevention of smuggling and the enforcement of the customs regulations. Formerly the vessels for the protection of the United States revenue were cutter-rigged, but now the name is applied indiscriminately, although almost all the revenue vessels are steamers, and the few remaining sailing vessels are schooner-rigged. [Century Dictionary, 1889]
It was on a side hill, and I observed a boy, who appeared to be about fifteen years of age, opposite the house felling a large tree; he had cut a few chips from the under side, and was then making the principal incision on the upper. ... I said to the boy, "Well Sir, I see that you make the upper cut." "That is the true cut," said the boy; "for if you will take the axe and try below, you will find that the tree will crowd down upon your chips, and you can't get it down in double the time." [Theodore Sedgwick, "Hints to My Countrymen," 1826]