Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday August 29, 2012
1. To shorten by cutting off a part; cut short: Truncate detailed explanations.
2. 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.
2. Biology. A. Square or broad at the end, as if cut off transversely. B. Lacking the apex, as certain spiral shells.
He pointed out that it was relatively easy to pronounce, though there was the danger that Americans, obsessed with abbreviation, would truncate it to Nick.
-- Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake
Tonight we had to truncate the chorus work and replace it with rehearsal of the larger scenes.
-- Chuck Zito, A Habit for Death
Truncate comes from the Latin word truncātus which meant "to lop." The mathematical and computer usage arose in the 1950s.