• synonyms


verb (used with object), am·pu·tat·ed, am·pu·tat·ing.
  1. to cut off (all or part of a limb or digit of the body), as by surgery.
  2. to prune, lop off, or remove: Because of space limitations the editor amputated the last two paragraphs of the news report.
  3. Obsolete. to prune, as branches of trees.
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Origin of amputate

1630–40; < Latin amputātus pruned, trimmed (past participle of amputāre), equivalent to am(bi) around (cf. ambi-) + put- trim + -ātus -ate1
Related formsam·pu·ta·tion, nounam·pu·ta·tive, adjectiveam·pu·ta·tor, nounnon·am·pu·ta·tion, nounpost·am·pu·ta·tion, adjectiveself-am·pu·ta·tion, nounun·am·pu·tat·ed, adjectiveun·am·pu·ta·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for amputation

Contemporary Examples of amputation

Historical Examples of amputation

British Dictionary definitions for amputation


  1. surgery to remove (all or part of a limb, esp an arm or leg)
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Derived Formsamputation, nounamputator, noun

Word Origin for amputate

C17: from Latin amputāre, from am- around + putāre to trim, prune
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 amputation


1610s, "a cutting off of tree branches, a pruning," also "operation of cutting off a limb, etc., of a body," from Middle French amputation or directly from Latin amputationem (nominative amputatio), noun of action from past participle stem of amputare "cut off, lop off; cut around, to prune," from am(bi)- "about" (see ambi-) + putare "to prune, trim" (see pave).

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1630s, back-formation from amputation or else from Latin amputatus, past participle of amputare "to cut off, to prune." Related: Amputated; amputating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

amputation in Medicine


  1. Surgical removal of all or part of a limb, an organ, or projecting part or process of the body.
  2. Traumatic or spontaneous loss of a limb, organ, or part.
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  1. To cut off a part of the body, especially by surgery.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.