verb (used with object), mu·ti·lat·ed, mu·ti·lat·ing.
- to injure, disfigure, or make imperfect by removing or irreparably damaging parts: Vandals mutilated the painting.
- to deprive (a person or animal) of a limb or other essential part.
- the act or an instance of mutilating oneself
- to deprive of a limb, essential part, etc; maim; dismember
- to mar, expurgate, or damage (a text, book, etc)
v.1530s, of things; 1560s, of persons; from Latin mutilatus, past participle of mutilare “to cut off, lop off, cut short; maim, mutilate,” from mutilus “maimed” (see mutilation). Technically, to deprive of some principal part, especially by cutting off. Related: Mutilated; mutilating.