Synonyms & Antonyms of mutilate

to cause severe or permanent injury to
  • was lucky not to be mutilated in the car crash

Synonyms for mutilate

Words Related to mutilate

Near Antonyms for mutilate

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About mutilate

How does the verb mutilate contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of mutilate are batter, cripple, maim, and mangle. While all these words mean "to injure so severely as to cause lasting damage," 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

Where would batter be a reasonable alternative to mutilate?

Although the words batter and mutilate have much in common, batter implies a series of blows that bruise deeply, deform, or mutilate.

an old ship battered by fierce storms

When is cripple a more appropriate choice than mutilate?

The words cripple and mutilate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, cripple implies the loss or serious impairment of an arm or leg.

crippled for life in an accident

When can maim be used instead of mutilate?

The meanings of maim and mutilate largely overlap; however, maim implies the loss or injury of a bodily member through violence.

maimed by a shark

When could mangle be used to replace mutilate?

While in some cases nearly identical to mutilate, mangle implies a tearing or crushing that leaves deep wounds.

a soldier's leg mangled by shrapnel

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mutilate

Time Traveler for mutilate

Time Traveler

The first known use of mutilate was in 1534

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Mutilate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on mutilate

Dictionary: Definition of mutilate

Medical Dictionary: Definition of mutilate

Nglish: Translation of mutilate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mutilate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mutilate

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


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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