from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act of circumcising.
  • noun A religious ceremony in which a boy or man is circumcised.
  • noun Christianity A feast observed on January 1 celebrating the circumcision of Jesus. Used with the.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of circumcising, or cutting off the foreskin or prepuce of males, or the performance of an analogous operation on females, as a religious rite, or in accordance with a custom founded on belief in the prophylactic value of the operation.
  • noun As metaphorically used in Scripture, spiritual purification.
  • noun Eccles., in the Roman Catholic, Greek, and Anglican churches, a festival observed on the octave of Christmas day (that is, the first day of January), in honor of the circumcision of Christ.
  • noun Those spiritually purified and elevated.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of cutting off the prepuce or foreskin of males, or the internal labia of females.
  • noun The Jews, as a circumcised people.
  • noun Rejection of the sins of the flesh; spiritual purification, and acceptance of the Christian faith.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act of excising or amputating the foreskin or prepuce from the penis.
  • noun The act of excising tissue from the vulva of the female.

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

  • noun (Roman Catholic Church and Anglican Church) feast day celebrating the circumcision of Jesus; celebrated on January 1st
  • noun the act of circumcising performed on males eight days after birth as a Jewish and Muslim religious rite
  • noun the act of circumcising; surgical removal of the foreskin of males


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin circumcīsiō, from circumcīdō ("cut around"), from circum ("about, around; through") + caedō ("cut, hew").


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  • One might ask why then do religious people CUT their children in circumcision, circumcision is a tradition of man and not of God.

    The First Cut | Her Bad Mother 2009

  • This spiritual circumcision is realized in, or by, union with Christ, whose "circumcision," whereby He became responsible for us to keep the whole law, is imputed to believers for justification; and union with whom, in all His vicarious obedience, including His circumcision, is the source of our sanctification.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible 1871

  • Studies performed at the University of Colorado School of Medicine revealed that circumcision is followed by prolonged, distressed non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

    The First Cut | Her Bad Mother 2009

  • The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and equivalent organizations in Canada all state that routine circumcision is not medically justified.

    The First Cut | Her Bad Mother 2009

  • I look forward to the day when circumcision is forgotten like other parts of 18th century medicine or bronze age rituals.

    The First Cut | Her Bad Mother 2009

  • Some people realize that circumcision is barbaric and has no place in the 21s century.

    The First Cut | Her Bad Mother 2009

  • Not that it should matter to you, but circumcision is classified as cosmetic surgery in Ontario.

    The First Cut | Her Bad Mother 2009

  • A circumcision is sometimes necessary at an older age to deal with splitting, scarring, and pain … Just ask my father, who, at 60 years young, finally addressed this problem!

    The First Cut | Her Bad Mother 2009

  • Another big reason people advocate for circumcision is purely for cosmetic reasons.

    The First Cut | Her Bad Mother 2009

  • “Jews Against Circumcision” also state that Rabbi Moses Maimonides himself acknowledged that circumcision is done to desensitize the penis and curb masturbation.

    The First Cut | Her Bad Mother 2009


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  • A "round about" decision? And hopefully with some circumspection. See circumnavigate.

    August 16, 2007

  • Seen here:

    "I Googled the word "circumcision," and two of the first three sites that popped up were the Circumcision Research Center and the Circumcision Information and Resource Pages — titles that suggest unbiased collections of data. In fact, both sites are run by anti-circumcision crusaders. A seemingly unending list of similar sites followed: Mothers Against Circumcision, Doctors Opposing Circumcision, Stop Infant Circumcision Society, and Milos' NOCIRC. Many of these activists have spent decades arguing that circumcision has no medical value, and recent scientific revelations have left them red-faced — not with embarrassment, but anger. According to Milos, for instance, all three of the Africa trials were part of what she calls an "ill-fated plot to circumcise everyone regardless of AIDS status!" She and others often demonize the scientists whose research has produced facts that contradict their extremist views.

    Daniel Halperin, Ph.D., spent much of the 1990s poring over epidemiological studies of AIDS, looking for places in Africa and Asia where HIV rates were relatively low and then trying to figure out why. Halperin, a senior research scientist at Harvard's school of public health, concluded that circumcision played a role and he paid a high price for saying so — many people thought he was nuts. In some ways, since he's been proved right, the price has become steeper. To get a flavor of it, look at his inbox....

    The Africa trials add substantial weight to a mounting pile of evidence that circumcision also reduces the spread of other sexually transmitted illnesses, including several types of cancer and venereal disease. The journal BMC Infectious Diseases published a study (co-authored by Halperin and four others) that compared rates of cervical cancer — caused by the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, or HPV — in more than 100 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In countries where fewer than 20 percent of men were circumcised, cervical-cancer rates were about 70 percent higher than in countries where more than 80 percent were circumcised."

    Charles Hirshberg, Men's Health

    April 1, 2009

  • See Quackwatch's page on circumcision.

    This can be the right place to recommend that website, despite its crappy layout.

    April 1, 2009

  • Yes, thanks for posting. I think the point of the Men's Health article here is that new studies have come out suggesting the health benefits are real. I don't think any reputable doctor would or should suggest routine circumcision for all male infants though.

    April 1, 2009

  • My father is a circumcised man currently dying of AIDS, so this is an emotional topic for me. I feel that gambling protection from HIV infection is a worthless reason to mutilate a child's genitals, and by the way, children are still dying in American hospitals from routine infant circumcisions, as I'm sure the sites you listed would describe.

    As the mother of 3 intact boys, I can tell you hospitals are still peddling the procedure because it's sure money and many parents are very ignorant about the dangers and psychological implications of removing a part of their newborn's body. A new mother has to be tough and intelligent to navigate the societal pressures to circumcise her baby.

    On the bright side, I've heard most insurance companies, in a surprisingly progressive move, are billing circumcision as "cosmetic surgery", reflecting the pure absurdity of the alteration.

    Besides, foreskin on a man is extremely sexy and makes "adult time" much more fun.

    April 1, 2009

  • Hot topic alert.

    April 1, 2009

  • Hahahah. Yup, hot topic / hot button, but please don't be put off by my disclosure about my father. I shared that with everyone last time this came up (see uncircumcised) as a matter of personal experience, but it's not meant to be a conversation killer; on the contrary, I would encourage everyone to openly explore why they feel the way they do about the issue, ESPECIALLY if you are in a position to make this decision for another human being. It might be your call, but it's his body.

    April 2, 2009

  • "caring for your baby and young child" author steven shelov page23

    November 2, 2010