- to injure, disfigure, or make imperfect by removing or irreparably damaging parts: Vandals mutilated the painting.
- to deprive (a person or animal) of a limb or other essential part.
Origin of mutilate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for mutilate
With cynical cruelty, he set himself to insult, to undermine, to mutilate it.The Child of Pleasure
If we wrong it, and despise it, we mutilate the divine in ourselves.Marriage la mode
Mrs. Humphry Ward
But that herd belongs to the lawyer, and I've taught him, now, to mutilate our horses.Columba
Care should be taken not to mutilate trees in taking these specimens.Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study
Ontario Ministry of Education
The passage is too long to quote, and it would be unfair to mutilate it.Studies of Contemporary Poets
Mary C. Sturgeon
- to deprive of a limb, essential part, etc; maim; dismember
- to mar, expurgate, or damage (a text, book, etc)
Word Origin and History for mutilate
1530s, of things; 1560s, of persons; from Latin mutilatus, past participle of mutilare "to cut off, lop off, cut short; maim, mutilate," from mutilus "maimed" (see mutilation). Technically, to deprive of some principal part, especially by cutting off. Related: Mutilated; mutilating.