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[myoot-l-eyt] /ˈmyut lˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), mutilated, mutilating.
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
1525-35; < Latin mutilātus (past participle of mutilāre to cut off, maim), equivalent to mutil(us) maimed, mutilated + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
mutilation, noun
mutilative, mutilatory
[myoot-l-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈmyut l əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
mutilator, noun
self-mutilating, adjective
self-mutilation, noun
unmutilated, adjective
unmutilative, adjective
1. damage, mar, cripple. 2. See maim. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for mutilate


verb (transitive)
to deprive of a limb, essential part, etc; maim; dismember
to mar, expurgate, or damage (a text, book, etc)
Derived Forms
mutilation, noun
mutilative, adjective
mutilator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin mutilāre to cut off; related to mutilus maimed
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 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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