American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To deprive of a limb or an essential part; cripple.
- v. To disfigure by damaging irreparably: mutilate a statue. See Synonyms at batter1.
- v. To make imperfect by excising or altering parts.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To cut off a limb or any important part of; deprive of any characteristic member, feature, or appurtenance, so as to disfigure; maim: as, to mutilate a body or a statue; to mutilate a tree or a picture.
- Figuratively, to excise, erase, or expunge any important part from, so as to render incomplete or imperfect, as a record or a poem.
- Synonyms Mutilate, Maim, Cripple, Mangle, Disfigure. Mutilate emphasizes the injury to completeness and to beauty: as, to mulilate a statue. Maim and cripple note the injury to the use of the members of the body, maim suggesting perhaps more of unsightliness, pain, and actual loss of members, and cripple more directly emphasizing the diminished power of action: as, crippled in the left arm. Mangle expresses a badly hacked or torn condition: as, a mangled finger or arm. Disfigure covers simply such changes of the external form as injure its appearance or beauty: one may be fearfully mangled in battle, so as to be disfigured for life, and yet finally escape being mutilated or maimed, or even crippled.
- Mutilate, Garble, Misquote. To mutilate is to take parts of a thing, so as to leave it imperfect or incomplete; to garble is to take parts of a thing in such a way as to make them convey a false impression; to misquote is to quote incorrectly, whether intentionally or not: as, to mutilate a hymn; to garble a passage from an official report; to garble another's words; to misquote a text of Scripture. Garble has completely lost its primary meaning.
- . Same as mutilated.
- Specifically, deprived of hind limbs, as a cetacean or a sirenian. See Mutilata.
- n. A member of the Mutilata; a cetacean or a sirenian.
- v. To physically harm as to impair use, notably by cutting off or otherwise disabling a vital part, such as a limb.
- v. To destroy beyond recognition.
- v. figuratively To render imperfect.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Deprived of, or having lost, an important part; mutilated.
- adj. (Zoöl.) Having finlike appendages or flukes instead of legs, as a cetacean.
- n. (Zoöl.) A cetacean, or a sirenian.
- v. To cut off or remove a limb or essential part of; to maim; to cripple; to disfigure; to hack
- v. To destroy or remove a material part of, so as to render imperfect.
- v. alter so as to make unrecognizable
- v. destroy or injure severely
- v. destroy or injure severely
- From Latin mutilatus, the past participle of mutilare 'to mutilate', itself from mutilus 'maimed' (Wiktionary)
- Latin mutilāre, mutilāt-, from mutilus, maimed. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“I use the word mutilate, because while it may be artistic to you, lets face it, clinically speaking, its mutilation to everyone else.”
“As for the instinct to mutilate, that is as easily accounted for as any other inherited habit, whether of man to mutilate cattle, or of ants to make slaves, or of birds to make their nests.”
“Most women who have had hysterectomies to be relieved of painful periods are not going to take kindly to the word's "mutilate" and I wonder how the words used here make breast cancer patients who have lost breasts feel?”
“We who do know the whole story in fullest detail will understand that it was desirable to 'mutilate' the book, and that, indeed, truth did in some measure require it.”
“Some forums in other countries have expressed horror at how I 'mutilate' my eyelids to make them appear to be double eyelids, but it's really not a big deal.”
“Let's see, the state wants to keep 10-12 year olds from buying games where they can mutilate and decapitate the opponent, showing war and gang violence, etc.”
“PETA says breeders often mutilate their birds to give them a stronger chance in the ring, and the group has campaigned against cockfighting in the Philippines in the past.”
“He won't have assets that grow so big that mutilate that advantage.”
“And later, when the pile caught fire (to mutilate a metaphor), publisher dollars became scarce as they fought to survive massive financial losses.”
“And I can also say that to renew your passport, all you need to do is pay a fee, send a new photo, and mail in your old passport so they can mutilate it.”
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