• synonyms


verb (used with object), mu·ti·lat·ed, mu·ti·lat·ing.
  1. to injure, disfigure, or make imperfect by removing or irreparably damaging parts: Vandals mutilated the painting.
  2. to deprive (a person or animal) of a limb or other essential part.
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Origin of mutilate

1525–35; < Latin mutilātus (past participle of mutilāre to cut off, maim), equivalent to mutil(us) maimed, mutilated + -ātus -ate1
Related formsmu·ti·la·tion, nounmu·ti·la·tive, mu·ti·la·to·ry [myoot-l-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈmyut l əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivemu·ti·la·tor, nounself-mu·ti·lat·ing, adjectiveself-mu·ti·la·tion, nounun·mu·ti·lat·ed, adjectiveun·mu·ti·la·tive, adjective

Synonyms for mutilate

1. damage, mar, cripple. 2. See maim.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mutilator

Historical Examples of mutilator

  • And the more appalling the mutilation, the more the mutilator is paid.

    The Doctor's Dilemma: Preface on Doctors

    George Bernard Shaw

  • M. Alary, the mutilator of Don Giovanni, would surely not be encouraged to try his hand on Weber's masterpiece?

  • Aretino, who had assumed the part of inquisitor and mutilator to gratify his private spite, survived triumphant.

  • If you were Czar himself, I should not hesitate to denounce you as the tyrant and mutilator of a poor defenseless woman.

    The Czar's Spy

    William Le Queux

  • At any rate, the mutilator of the friar was yielded, and in due course was hanged by the Spanish authorities.

    Outlines of Zui Creation Myths

    Frank Hamilton Cushing

British Dictionary definitions for mutilator


verb (tr)
  1. to deprive of a limb, essential part, etc; maim; dismember
  2. to mar, expurgate, or damage (a text, book, etc)
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Derived Formsmutilation, nounmutilative, adjectivemutilator, noun

Word Origin for mutilate

C16: from Latin mutilāre to cut off; related to mutilus maimed
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 mutilator



1530s, of things; 1560s, of persons; from Latin mutilatus, past participle of mutilare "to cut off, lop off, cut short; maim, mutilate," from mutilus "maimed" (see mutilation). Technically, to deprive of some principal part, especially by cutting off. Related: Mutilated; mutilating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper