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verb (used without object), mas·tur·bat·ed, mas·tur·bat·ing.
  1. to engage in masturbation.
verb (used with object), mas·tur·bat·ed, mas·tur·bat·ing.
  1. to practice masturbation upon.

Origin of masturbate

1855–60; < Latin masturbātus, past participle of masturbārī to engage in masturbation
Related formsmas·tur·ba·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for masturbate


  1. to stimulate the genital organs of (oneself or another) to achieve sexual pleasure
Derived Formsmasturbation, nounmasturbator, noun

Word Origin

C19: from Latin masturbārī, of unknown origin; formerly thought to be derived from manus hand + stuprāre to defile
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

Word Origin and History for masturbate


1839, back-formation from masturbation, or else from Latin masturbatus, past participle of masturbari. Related: Masturbated; masturbating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

masturbate in Medicine


  1. To perform an act of masturbation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.