• synonyms


noun, plural clit·o·ri·dec·to·mies.
  1. 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.
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Compare infibulation.

Origin of clitoridectomy

1865–70; clitorid- (combining form representing Greek kleitorís (genitive kleitorídos) clitoris) + -ectomy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for clitoridectomy


noun plural -mies
  1. surgical removal of the clitoris: a form of female circumcision, esp practised as a religious or ethnic rite
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

clitoridectomy in Medicine


(klĭt′ər-ĭ-dĕktə-mē, klī′tər-)
  1. Excision of the clitoris.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.