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See more synonyms for amputate on Thesaurus.com
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

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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

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.