[ truhng-keyt ]
/ ˈtrʌŋ keɪt /
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See synonyms for: truncate / truncated on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), trun·cat·ed, trun·cat·ing.
to shorten by cutting off a part; cut short: Truncate detailed explanations.
Mathematics, Computers. to shorten (a number) by dropping a digit or digits: The numbers 1.4142 and 1.4987 can both be truncated to 1.4.
  1. square or broad at the end, as if cut off transversely.
  2. lacking the apex, as certain spiral shells.
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Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of truncate

1480–90; <Latin truncātus (past participle of truncāre to lop), equivalent to trunc(us) trunk + -ātus-ate1


trun·cate·ly, adverbsub·trun·cate, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does truncate mean?

Truncate means to shorten something by removing part of it.

You can truncate something by removing the beginning of it, the end of it, the top of it, or another part of it. In scientific and medical contexts, truncating often involves cutting off a part of something in a way that’s parallel to its base (or perpendicular to its side).

In the context of math, to truncate is to shorten a number by dropping some of the digits after the decimal place. For example, 1.524 can be truncated to 1.5.

Less commonly, truncate can be used as an adjective with the same meaning as truncated—shortened, as if having had a portion cut off.

Example: When they originally released the movie, they truncated the ending, but they’re planning to release the full version soon.

Where does truncate come from?

The first records of the word truncate come from the late 1400s. It comes from the Latin verb truncāre, “to lop” or “to cut off.” Truncāre comes from the Latin truncus, which means “stem,” “stump,” or “trunk,” and is also the basis of the word trunk, as in the trunk of a tree.

You can truncate a trunk of a tree by chopping it down to the stump, but truncate isn’t commonly applied to physical things. It’s most often used to refer to shortening intangible things, such as a schedule or a piece of writing, as in This last part is a bit long, so we’ll have to truncate it to stay within the word count. 

As an adjective, truncate is used in a more specialized way in biology, in which it’s used to describe a part of an organism, such as the leaf of a plant, that looks like it has been cut off at the tip. The word truncated can also be used to describe the same thing.

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What are some other forms related to truncate?

What are some synonyms for truncate?

What are some words that share a root or word element with truncate

What are some words that often get used in discussing truncate?

How is truncate used in real life?

Truncate can be used in all kinds of contexts, but it’s most often applied to intangible things.



Try using truncate!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of truncate?

A. abridge
B. abbreviate
C. protract
D. shorten

How to use truncate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for truncate


verb (trʌŋˈkeɪt, ˈtrʌŋkeɪt)
(tr) to shorten by cutting off a part, end, or top
adjective (ˈtrʌŋkeɪt)
cut short; truncated
biology having a blunt end, as though cut off at the tipa truncate leaf

Derived forms of truncate

truncately, adverbtruncation, noun

Word Origin for truncate

C15: from Latin truncāre to lop
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

Medical definitions for truncate

[ trŭngkāt′ ]

To shorten by or as if by cutting off, especially by cutting across at right angles to the long axis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.