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

Other Words from truncate


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for truncate

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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The Connection Between Truncate and Trees

The earliest use of truncate is as an adjective describing something (such as a leaf or feather) with the end squared off as if it had been cut. It makes sense, then, that the verb refers to shortening things. The word comes from Latin truncare ("to shorten"), which traces to truncus ("trunk").

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 Too-early high school start times then truncate teen sleep in the morning, so that sleep is squeezed at both ends. Julie Wright, WSJ, 26 Mar. 2022 Protesters have swarmed city streets ever since the Oakland school board’s Feb. 9 vote to close, merge or truncate 11 schools beginning this summer and continuing through the next academic year. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Mar. 2022 What my best tactic is: to just sit and listen quietly and let the awkward silences fill themselves and not truncate my guests from their point. Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2022 Multiple mergers were removed from the resolution, but members voted to merge RISE Community Elementary with New Highland Academy, and to truncate 6-8 from La Escuelita K-8 and Hillcrest K-8. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 Feb. 2022 The coronavirus forced the MLB to delay, truncate and rearrange its 2020 season, likely denting fans’ enthusiasm and causing World Series ratings to dip. Joe Walsh, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 Or, lawmakers could choose to delay or truncate such programs to lower the cost. Aj Willingham, CNN, 6 Oct. 2021 There are no shortcuts available to Yazidis -- no way to truncate our trauma. Nadia Murad, CNN, 16 Aug. 2021 Organizers may have to truncate some activities depending on the volunteers available. cleveland, 22 May 2021 See More

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.

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

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Time Traveler for truncate

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

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Cite this Entry

“Truncate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on truncate

Nglish: Translation of truncate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of truncate for Arabic Speakers


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