verb (used with object), am·pu·tat·ed, am·pu·tat·ing.

  1. to cut off (all or part of a limb or digit of the body), as by surgery.
  2. to prune, lop off, or remove: Because of space limitations the editor amputated the last two paragraphs of the news report.
  3. Obsolete. to prune, as branches of trees.


  1. surgery to remove (all or part of a limb, esp an arm or leg)

1630s, back-formation from amputation or else from Latin amputatus, past participle of amputare “to cut off, to prune.” Related: Amputated; amputating.


  1. To cut off a part of the body, especially by surgery.

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