Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To cut off (a projecting body part), especially by surgery.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To surgically remove a part of the body, especially a limb

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To prune or lop off, as branches or tendrils.
  • transitive v. To cut off (a limb or projecting part of the body)

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To prune, as branches or twigs of trees or vines.
  • To cut off, as a limb or other part of an animal body; cut away the whole or a part of (more commonly the latter): as, to amputate the leg below the knee.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. remove surgically

Etymologies

Latin amputāre, amputāt-, to cut around : am-, ambi-, around; see ambi- + putāre, to cut.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin amputō ("prune, cut away"). (Wiktionary)

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