lo·​bot·​o·​mize lō-ˈbä-tə-ˌmīz How to pronounce lobotomize (audio)
lobotomized; lobotomizing

transitive verb

: to perform a lobotomy on
: to deprive of sensitivity, intelligence, or vitality
fear of prosecution was causing the press to lobotomize itself Tony Eprile

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Example Sentences

fear of saying anything controversial has so lobotomized this book on geopolitics that it fails to say anything at all
Recent Examples on the Web What the choice actually did was magically lobotomize them, sending them wandering the streets. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, 6 June 2018 In other words, lobotomize the civil rights and antiwar protesters. Rob Verger, Newsweek, 17 Apr. 2014

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lobotomize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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Word History


lobotomy + -ize

First Known Use

1943, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lobotomize was in 1943

Dictionary Entries Near lobotomize

Cite this Entry

“Lobotomize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lobotomize. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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Medical Definition


transitive verb
variants or chiefly British lobotomise
lobotomized or chiefly British lobotomised; lobotomizing or chiefly British lobotomising
: to sever the frontal lobes of the brain of
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