trun·​cate | \ ˈtrəŋ-ˌkāt How to pronounce truncate (audio) , ˈtrən- \
truncated; truncating

Definition of truncate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to shorten by or as if by cutting off
2 : to replace (an edge or corner of a crystal) by a plane



Definition of truncate (Entry 2 of 2)

: having the end square or even truncate leaves

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from truncate


truncation \ trəŋ-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce truncation (audio) , trən-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for truncate

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

The Connection Between Truncate and Trees


Truncate descends from the Latin verb truncare, meaning "to shorten," which in turn can be traced back to the Latin word for the trunk of a tree, which is truncus. Incidentally, if you've guessed that truncus is also the ancestor of the English word trunk, you are correct. Truncus also gave us truncheon, which is the name for a police officer's billy club, and the obscure word obtruncate, meaning "to cut the head or top from."

Examples of truncate in a Sentence

Verb a truncated version of the 11 o'clock newscast followed the awards show, which ran over its time slot—as it always does
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Cassidy has Bjork there, in part, as a safe harbor for the young forward, whose first two seasons here were truncated by shoulder surgery., "In Tuesday night’s 5-1 win over San Jose, Heinen lined up at right wing on the second line centered by David Krejci. Jake DeBrusk held what has become his customary spot on the left side.," 1 Nov. 2019 Lucas’s vision was huge, his emotional range truncated. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Robotic Familiarity of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”," 19 Dec. 2019 There was a Free Press Summer Festival set between, but it was truncated due to weather, and hardly counts. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "The National at White Oak Music Hall: Sometimes your show is special," 12 Sep. 2019 Disney has truncated campaigns for Marvel movies for three reasons. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, "Coming Soon to a Theater Near You. Very Soon.," 19 July 2019 For the first time in its history, the NFL season was truncated by a strike, and each team played just nine games. Barry Wilner, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rozelle: From compromise candidate to commissioner nonpareil," 18 Oct. 2019 Those 15 minutes of silent reading have been truncated and moved into the advisory periods set for Mondays and Fridays. Andrew J. Campa, Burbank Leader, "Changes are in store for Luther Burbank Middle School’s class schedule," 8 Aug. 2019 Nearly a third of the genes have picked up mutations that cause them to produce a protein that is truncated, with translation stopping before the full protein is made. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Infectious cancer hasn’t done much over the last 4,000 years," 3 Aug. 2019 But the plot involving Gyllen’s estranged dad (Ben Chaplin), who has decided to start a new family in southwestern France, feels truncated, hardly giving enough time for their big crisis to develop. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Roads': Film Review," 30 July 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of truncate


circa 1717, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for truncate


Latin truncatus, past participle of truncare to shorten, from truncus trunk

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about truncate

Time Traveler for truncate

Time Traveler

The first known use of truncate was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about truncate

Statistics for truncate

Last Updated

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Truncate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for truncate


How to pronounce truncate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of truncate

formal : to make (something) shorter

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on truncate

What made you want to look up truncate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!