[ sur-kuh m-sahyz ]
/ ˈsɜr kəmˌsaɪz /

verb (used with object), cir·cum·cised, cir·cum·cis·ing.

to remove the prepuce of (a male), especially as a religious rite.
to remove the clitoris, prepuce, or labia of (a female).
to purify spiritually.

Origin of circumcise

1200–50; Middle English circumcisen < Latin circumcīsus (past participle of circumcīdere to cut around), equivalent to circum- circum- + -cīsus (-cīd- cut + -tus past participle suffix; see -cide)
Related formscir·cum·cis·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for circumcise

British Dictionary definitions for circumcise


/ (ˈsɜːkəmˌsaɪz) /

verb (tr)

to remove the foreskin of (a male)
to incise surgically the skin over the clitoris of (a female)
to remove the clitoris of (a female)
to perform the religious rite of circumcision on (someone)
Derived Formscircumciser, noun

Word Origin for circumcise

C13: from Latin circumcīdere, from circum- + caedere to cut
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 circumcise



mid-13c., "to cut off the foreskin," from Old French circoncisier "circumcise" (12c., Modern French circoncire), from Latin circumcisus, past participle of circumcidere "to cut round, to cut trim, to cut off" (see circumcision). Related: Circumcised; circumcising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for circumcise


[ sûrkəm-sīz′ ]


To perform a circumcision.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.