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[myoot-l-eyt] /ˈmyut lˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), mutilated, mutilating.
to injure, disfigure, or make imperfect by removing or irreparably damaging parts:
Vandals mutilated the painting.
to deprive (a person or animal) of a limb or other essential part.
Origin of mutilate
1525-35; < Latin mutilātus (past participle of mutilāre to cut off, maim), equivalent to mutil(us) maimed, mutilated + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
mutilation, noun
mutilative, mutilatory
[myoot-l-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈmyut l əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
mutilator, noun
self-mutilating, adjective
self-mutilation, noun
unmutilated, adjective
unmutilative, adjective
1. damage, mar, cripple. 2. See maim. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for mutilation


verb (transitive)
to deprive of a limb, essential part, etc; maim; dismember
to mar, expurgate, or damage (a text, book, etc)
Derived Forms
mutilation, noun
mutilative, adjective
mutilator, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for mutilation

1520s, in Scots law, "act of disabling or wounding a limb," from Middle French mutilation and directly from Late Latin mutilationem (nominative mutilatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin mutilare "to cut or lop off," from mutilus "maimed," which perhaps is cognate with Greek mytilos "hornless." Of things, "a destroying of unity by damaging or removing a part," from 1630s.



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mutilation in Medicine

mutilation mu·ti·la·tion (myōōt'l-ā'shən)
Disfigurement or injury by removal or destruction of a conspicuous or essential part of the body.

mu'ti·late' v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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