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in horticulture, part of a plant stem, leaf, or root cut off and used for producing a new plant. It is a convenient and inexpensive method of propagation, not possible for all plants but used generally for grapes; chrysanthemums; verbenas (stem cuttings); blackberries (root cuttings); African violets (leaf cuttings); and for many other plants. Cuttings, as soon as they are made, are usually placed in moist sand, frequently heated from below; if taken in the fall, as hardwood cuttings of trees or shrubs, they are kept in unheated sand over the winter and planted in the spring. The word cutting alone usually means stem cutting; slip is a common synonym. The general availability today of rooting hormones and misting devices has made possible the propagation by cuttings of many kinds of plants that had not previously responded favorably.


See G. W. Adriance and F. R. Brison, Propagation of Horticultural Plants (2d ed. 1955); H. Hartmann and D. E. Kester, Plant Propagation (5th ed. 1990).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a part of a plant used for vegetative propagation. Cuttings are obtained from high-quality plants. Plants grown from cuttings retain the properties and characteristics of the maternal plant. There are root, stem, and leaf cuttings. Under certain growing conditions, roots form on stem cuttings, buds on root cuttings, and both buds and roots on leaf cuttings. The ability of plants to propagate by cuttings depends on the species and varietal characteristics of the maternal plants as well as on external conditions, for example, temperature, humidity, and aeration.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A piece of plant stem with one or more nodes, which, when placed under suitable conditions, will produce roots and shoots resulting in a complete plant.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A short piece of lumber resulting from crosscutting or ripping operations.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. Horticulture
a. a method of vegetative propagation in which a part of a plant, such as a stem or leaf, is induced to form its own roots
b. a part separated for this purpose
2. Films the editing process by which a film is cut and made
3. Civil Engineering an excavation in a piece of high land for a road, railway, etc., enabling it to remain at approximately the same level
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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Mozart framed the evening, beginning with a rich, full-blooded Don Giovanni Overture, string response zippy, winds cuttingly balanced within the textures.
The judges appeared to agree with him, with Bruno Tonioli cuttingly comparing him to a vacuum cleaner.
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Citing his own church in the canton of Basel, in Switzerland, Barth observes rather cuttingly that its 1911 constitution seems to define the churches' nature more in terms of the convictions of its members and a historical event (the Reformation) than in terms of faith and the Holy Spirit.
Most 70s programmes look dated and silly but this remains cuttingly satirical.
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Keegan cuttingly describes the limitations of "human intelligence"--that is, espionage--in the past and demonstrates the extreme limitations of even its most famous examples in World War II and the Cold War.
ICAN'T remember the name of the 18th century (?) politician who was cuttingly described as being so feebly impressionable he was "like a cushion: always bearing the imprint of the last person who sat on him." If anyone learned can provide either his name or that of the author of the remark I'd be extremely grateful - though not, perhaps, eternally.