- (nautical) To sail away quickly by cutting the yarns that hold the sails furled.
- (by extension) To hurry away; to escape.
- (military) To abandon a position as quickly as possible.
- They held on as long as they could, but when the heavy artillery fire started, they had to cut and run.
- President Bush laid out the scenario we face if the United States decides to cut and run.
- Some dictionaries give as a definition, "to cut the anchor cable and not wait to weigh it."