: the act of circumcising: a: the cutting off of the foreskin of males that is practiced as a religious rite by Jews and Muslims and as a sanitary measure in modern surgery b:female genital mutilation
: the condition of being circumcised
Cutting away of all or part of the foreskin (prepuce) of the penis. The practice is known in many cultures. It is performed either shortly after birth (e.g., among Muslims and Jews), within a few years of birth, or at puberty. For Jews it represents the fulfillment of the covenant between God and Abraham (Genesis 17:10–14). That Christians were not obliged to be circumcised was first recorded biblically in Acts 15. Evidence regarding the purported medical benefits of circumcision (e.g., reduced risk of cancer) is inconclusive, and the practice persists mainly for cultural reasons. See alsoclitoridectomy.