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

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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


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 Metro said the decision on where to truncate trips was based on stations with the least riders. Washington Post, "Metro moves toward service cuts as talks stall on coronavirus aid bill," 18 Sep. 2020 Other churches were not so fortunate. Because of stay-at-home orders, many churches had to cancel or truncate their Easter services. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Evangelicals drive religious liberty battle over pandemic shutdowns," 17 May 2020 And if the school year itself had to be truncated -- with Harmony refunding families for the months of April and May and the teachers essentially working for free, Kahn said -- the official end of the year would still end with a bang. Brian Lisik, cleveland, "Brunswick’s Harmony Preschool holds a year-end party in the parking lot," 12 May 2020 What usually takes years to unfold is being rapidly truncated into weeks. Andrew Zaleski, Popular Mechanics, "So When Will a COVID-19 Vaccine Be Available?," 29 Apr. 2020 Note that the model is only for January - October, therefore, numbers are truncated at October 31. New York Times, "What’s Going On in This Graph? | Pandemic Intervention Models," 16 Apr. 2020 What happened instead was the investigation was truncated, her testimony was truncated and controlled in a way that there was not full transparency. Lisa Lerer, New York Times, "‘I’m Sure for American Women, This Is Frustrating’," 6 May 2020 Why rush it in a season that figures to be truncated at best? Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, "Chargers shouldn’t take quarterback in first round of NFL draft," 20 Apr. 2020 The possibilities range from a full season with fans in the stands, football in the spring, moving non-conference games, truncating the schedule, or the nuclear possibility that Barnes isn’t planning on: no football. oregonlive, "Oregon State athletics taking a $7 million revenue hit this spring, but AD Scott Barnes encouraged about football," 9 Apr. 2020

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.

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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 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for truncate


How to pronounce truncate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of truncate

formal : to make (something) shorter

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Comments on truncate

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