noun, plural clit·o·ri·dec·to·mies.

the excision of the clitoris, usually performed as part of female initiation rites, mainly among certain African peoples, but also sometimes used in various societies to curb sexual desire; female circumcision.

Compare infibulation.

Origin of clitoridectomy

1865–70; clitorid- (combining form representing Greek kleitorís (genitive kleitorídos) clitoris) + -ectomy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for clitoridectomy


noun plural -mies

surgical removal of the clitoris: a form of female circumcision, esp practised as a religious or ethnic rite
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 clitoridectomy

1866, from Greek klitorid- (see clitoris) + -ectomy. Originally in reference to a proposed cure for hysteria.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

clitoridectomy in Medicine


[klĭt′ər-ĭ-dĕktə-mē, klī′tər-]


Excision of the clitoris.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.