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[am-pyoo-teyt] /ˈæm pyʊˌteɪt/
verb (used with object), amputated, amputating.
to cut off (all or part of a limb or digit of the body), as by surgery.
to prune, lop off, or remove:
Because of space limitations the editor amputated the last two paragraphs of the news report.
Obsolete. to prune, as branches of trees.
Origin of amputate
1630-40; < Latin amputātus pruned, trimmed (past participle of amputāre), equivalent to am(bi) around (cf. ambi-) + put- trim + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
amputation, noun
amputative, adjective
amputator, noun
nonamputation, noun
postamputation, adjective
self-amputation, noun
unamputated, adjective
unamputative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for amputate
Historical Examples
  • But we are compelled to amputate an important part of our body in order to save the rest of it.

  • They could not operate on Rochard and amputate his leg, as they wanted to do.

    The Backwash of War Ellen N. La Motte
  • There they wanted to amputate his leg, but he told them he would rather die than loose his leg.

  • If he amputate the disordered member, it is to save the life.

  • The surgeons put off amputating the leg, he was so exhausted, but at last it was imperatively necessary to amputate.

    The Wound Dresser Walt Whitman
  • It was necessary for old Doc Robbins to amputate both at the shoulders.

    Blue Ridge Country Jean Thomas
  • Because, in 1787, an architect was found who considered it well to "amputate" the old one.

    The Churches of Paris S. Sophia Beale
  • Because Major Cutemup is here, and when he begins to amputate it is hard to get him to stop.

    The Heart of Pinocchio Collodi Nipote
  • No one had any hope that they could be saved, and when the party reached the fort, a doctor was sought to amputate them.

  • We had to amputate his arms and ribs practically to his spinal column.

    Accidental Flight Floyd L. Wallace
British Dictionary definitions for amputate


(surgery) to remove (all or part of a limb, esp an arm or leg)
Derived Forms
amputation, noun
amputator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin amputāre, from am- around + putāre to trim, prune
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amputate

1630s, back-formation from amputation or else from Latin amputatus, past participle of amputare "to cut off, to prune." Related: Amputated; amputating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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amputate in Medicine

amputate am·pu·tate (ām'pyu-tāt')
v. am·pu·tat·ed, am·pu·tat·ing, am·pu·tates
To cut off a part of the body, especially by surgery.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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