Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To remove the prepuce of (a male).
  • transitive v. To remove all or part of the clitoris, prepuce, or labia of (a female).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To amputate the prepuce from a penis.
  • v. To amputate the clitoris, prepuce, or labia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To cut off the prepuce of foreskin of, in the case of males, and the internal labia of, in the case of females.
  • transitive v. To purify spiritually.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Literally, to cut round about; specifically, to perform the act or rite of circumcision on: as, to circumcise a child; also occasionally in Scripture, metaphorically, to purify from sin.

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

  • v. cut the skin over the clitoris
  • v. cut the foreskin off male babies or teenage boys

Etymologies

Middle English circumcisen, from Latin circumcīdere, circumcīs-, to cut around : circum-, circum- + caedere, to cut.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin circumcīdō ("cut around"), from circum ("about, around; through") + caedō ("cut, hew"). (Wiktionary)

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