Etymology
Advertisement
cutting (adj.)

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.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
cutting (n.)

mid-14c., "piece cut off;" late 14c., "act or fact of making incisions, action of cutting," verbal noun from cut (v.). Meaning "shoot or small bough bearing leaf-buds" is from 1660s. Meaning "slip cut from a newspaper or other print publication" is by 1856. Related: Cuttings.  Cutting-board is by 1819.

Related entries & more 
clear-cutting (n.)

"felling and removal of all the trees in a place," 1874, from clear (adj.) + cutting (n.), verbal noun from cut (v.).

Related entries & more 
-tomy 
word-forming element meaning "a cutting" (especially a surgical incision or removal), from Greek -tomia "a cutting of," from tome "a cutting, section" (from PIE root *tem- "to cut").
Related entries & more 
trenchant (adj.)
early 14c., "cutting, sharp," from Old French trenchant "cutting, sharp" (literal and figurative), present participle of trenchier "to cut" (see trench). Figurative sense in English is from c. 1600.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
craniotomy (n.)

a cutting open of the skull (especially of a fetal head when it obstructs delivery), 1817, from cranio- "of the skull" + -tomy "a cutting."

Related entries & more 
gastrectomy (n.)
1881, from gastro- "stomach" + -ectomy "a cutting out."
Related entries & more 
lithotomy (n.)
operation of cutting out a bladder stone, 1721; see litho- "stone" + -tomy "a cutting." Greek lithotomia meant "place where stone is cut; a quarry" (lithotomos is "stone-cutter").
Related entries & more 
shred (n.)

Old English screade "piece cut off, cutting, scrap," from Proto-Germanic *skraudōn- (source also of Old Frisian skred "a cutting, clipping," Middle Dutch schroode "shred," Middle Low German schrot "piece cut off," Old High German scrot, "scrap, shred, a cutting, piece cut off," German Schrot "log, block, small shot", Old Norse skrydda "shriveled skin"), from PIE *skreu- "to cut; cutting tool," extension of root *sker- (1) "to cut."

Related entries & more 
box-cutter (n.)
1871, "one whose job is to cut boxes," from box (n.1) + cutter. From 1890 as a type of cutting machine; from 1944 as a hand-held bladed tool for cutting cardboard.
Related entries & more