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/ ˈtrʌŋ keɪ tɪd /
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shortened by or as if by having a part cut off; cut short: an unnecessarily truncated essay.
(of a geometric figure or solid) having the apex, vertex, or end cut off by a plane: a truncated cone or pyramid.
Crystallography. (of a crystal) having corners, angles, or edges cut off or replaced by a single plane.
Prosody. (of a line of verse) lacking at the beginning or end one or more unstressed syllables needed to fill out the metrical pattern.
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Origin of truncated

First recorded in 1480–90; truncate + -ed2


sub·trun·cat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does truncated mean?

Truncated means shortened, as if having had a portion cut off.

The verb truncate means to shorten something in this way.

As an adjective, truncated can be used in several specialized ways, all of which describe things that have been shortened or seem like they’ve been shortened or cut off.

In geometry, it’s used to describe a shape that has had one of its parts or corners cut off. In crystallography, it’s used to describe a crystal whose corners, angles, or edges are cut off. In biology, 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. In poetry, it’s used to describe a line that has fewer syllables that the meter (the rhythm of the line) suggests it should.

Still, truncated is most commonly used in a general way. A more common and less formal synonym is shortened.

Example: Most people have only ever seen the truncated version of the film, but they’re planning to release the full version soon.

Where does truncated come from?

The first records of the word truncated as an adjective come from the late 1400s. Truncated and the verb truncate come 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 truncated isn’t commonly applied to physical things. It’s most often used to describe intangible things that have been shortened in some way, such as a schedule, a piece of writing, or a movie.

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What are some other forms related to truncated?

  • truncate (verb)
  • subtruncated (adjective)

What are some synonyms for truncated?

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

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

How is truncated used in real life?

Truncated has several specific uses, but it can be used in all kinds of contexts.



Try using truncated!

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

A. abridged
B. abbreviated
C. protracted
D. shortened

How to use truncated in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for truncated

/ (trʌŋˈkeɪtɪd) /

maths (of a cone, pyramid, prism, etc) having an apex or end removed by a plane intersection that is usually nonparallel to the base
(of a crystal) having edges or corners cut off
shortened by or as if by cutting off; truncate
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