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[sur-kuh m-sahyz] /ˈsɜr kəmˌsaɪz/
verb (used with object), circumcised, circumcising.
to remove the prepuce of (a male), especially as a religious rite.
to remove the clitoris, prepuce, or labia of (a female).
to purify spiritually.
Origin of circumcise
1200-50; Middle English circumcisen < Latin circumcīsus (past participle of circumcīdere to cut around), equivalent to circum- circum- + -cīsus (-cīd- cut + -tus past participle suffix; see -cide)
Related forms
circumciser, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for circumcise


verb (transitive)
to remove the foreskin of (a male)
to incise surgically the skin over the clitoris of (a female)
to remove the clitoris of (a female)
to perform the religious rite of circumcision on (someone)
Derived Forms
circumciser, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Latin circumcīdere, from circum- + caedere to cut
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 circumcise

mid-13c., "to cut off the foreskin," from Old French circoncisier "circumcise" (12c., Modern French circoncire), from Latin circumcisus, past participle of circumcidere "to cut round, to cut trim, to cut off" (see circumcision). Related: Circumcised; circumcising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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circumcise in Medicine

circumcise cir·cum·cise (sûr'kəm-sīz')
v. cir·cum·cised, cir·cum·cis·ing, cir·cum·cis·es
To perform a circumcision.

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