mutilate

verb mu·ti·late \ ˈmyü-tə-ˌlāt \
Updated on: 13 Dec 2017

Definition of mutilate

mutilated; mutilating
transitive verb
1 : to cut up or alter radically so as to make imperfect
  • the child mutilated the book with his scissors
  • a painting mutilated by vandals
2 : to cut off or permanently destroy a limb or essential part of : cripple
  • His arm was mutilated in the accident.

mutilation

play \ˌmyü-tə-ˈlā-shən\ noun

mutilator

play \ˈmyü-tə-ˌlā-tər\ noun

Examples of mutilate in a Sentence

  1. a painting mutilated by vandals

  2. was lucky not to be mutilated in the car crash

Recent Examples of mutilate from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of mutilate

Latin mutilatus, past participle of mutilare, from mutilus truncated, maimed

Synonym Discussion of mutilate

maim, cripple, mutilate, batter, mangle mean to injure so severely as to cause lasting damage. maim implies the loss or injury of a bodily member through violence.
    • maimed by a shark
cripple implies the loss or serious impairment of an arm or leg.
    • crippled for life in an accident
mutilate implies the cutting off or removal of an essential part of a person or thing thereby impairing its completeness, beauty, or function.
    • a tree mutilated by inept pruning
batter implies a series of blows that bruise deeply, deform, or mutilate.
    • an old ship battered by fierce storms
mangle implies a tearing or crushing that leaves deep wounds.
    • a soldier's leg mangled by shrapnel

MUTILATE Defined for English Language Learners

mutilate

verb

Definition of mutilate for English Language Learners

  • : to cause severe damage to (the body of a person or animal)

  • : to ruin the beauty of (something) : to severely damage or spoil (something)


MUTILATE Defined for Kids

mutilate

verb mu·ti·late \ ˈmyü-tə-ˌlāt \

Definition of mutilate for Students

mutilated; mutilating
1 : to destroy or cut off a necessary part (as a limb) : maim
2 : to ruin by damaging or changing
  • He mutilated the book with a scissors.
  • The actors mutilated the play.

Medical Dictionary

mutilate

transitive verb mu·ti·late \ ˈmyüt-ᵊl-ˌāt \

medical Definition of mutilate

mutilated; mutilating
: to cut off or permanently destroy a limb or essential part of
  • mutilate a body
; also : castrate 1


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