- 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 mutilation
The young woman says she is still suffering from psychological damage as a result of the mutilation.Egypt: Stop Mutilating Little Girls!
April 26, 2014
Click on Surfer Rosa or Doolittle or the Wave of Mutilation compilation.The Pixies Talk About Their Reunion, New Music and a Missing Band Member
September 20, 2013
Doctors said that the wounded director is deeply depressed about the mutilation.The Dark Secrets of the Russian Ballet
January 21, 2013
No mutilation, no gore; just an effacement—prompt and absolute—'there wasn't any.'Concerning Cats
Helen M. Winslow
And his fate was to be vengeance of a like mutilation of his own fair cheeks!The Fiery Totem
He was told that his mutilation and imprisonment had been illegal!Bygone Punishments
Mutilation of a vanquished enemy is common among these Islanders.The Philippine Islands
Among slaves perjury was punished by mutilation and whipping.
- to deprive of a limb, essential part, etc; maim; dismember
- to mar, expurgate, or damage (a text, book, etc)
Word Origin and History for mutilation
1520s, in Scots law, "act of disabling or wounding a limb," from Middle French mutilation and directly from Late Latin mutilationem (nominative mutilatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin mutilare "to cut or lop off," from mutilus "maimed," which perhaps is cognate with Greek mytilos "hornless." Of things, "a destroying of unity by damaging or removing a part," from 1630s.
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.
- Disfigurement or injury by removal or destruction of a conspicuous or essential part of the body.