Definition of amputate in English:



  • Cut off (a limb), typically by surgical operation.

    ‘surgeons had to amputate her left hand’
    ‘the wounded had to have legs or arms amputated’
    • ‘We can measure his heart rhythms, take his blood pressure and even amputate a limb.’
    • ‘Surgeons had to amputate both hands and her legs just below the knee, to prevent the spread of infection.’
    • ‘A Scottish surgeon who caused controversy by amputating healthy limbs from patients suffering from an as yet unrecognised condition has won a major boost in his bid to get the disorder officially classified in the bible of mental illness.’
    • ‘He stirred and I worried that he would wake while I was amputating his leg.’
    • ‘Fire chiefs have admitted that as soldiers are unable to use cutting gear, surgeons might have to amputate limbs of car crash victims at accident scenes.’
    • ‘There's also the possibility that you could be suffering from a dysmorphic disorder, such as the one experienced by people who feel a compulsive need to amputate their own limbs.’
    • ‘I said that - something about, ‘You have to amputate an infected limb for the patient to survive.’’
    • ‘I used starch when the client demanded it and made the creases sharp enough to amputate a limb.’
    • ‘A clear cell carcinoma in keeping with renal origin was found on biopsy, and the finger was amputated.’
    • ‘Surgeons decided to remove his infected limbs to stop the disease spreading, amputating both his legs above the knee, his right hand and forearm and the fingers and thumb on his left hand.’
    • ‘It was this faith that saw him through a complicated surgery to amputate his right leg on account of diabetes-related complications.’
    • ‘Gangrene set in and surgeons had to amputate the leg to save his life.’
    • ‘She had grown so used to carrying Muffin around that she felt as if the vet had amputated a limb.’
    • ‘When a limb gets infected and is beyond repair, and there is danger of the patient losing his life because of this, the surgeon has no other option left to save his life than to amputate the infected limb.’
    • ‘The dilemma of the surgeon being asked to amputate a healthy limb is similar.’
    • ‘The surgeries took 14 hours, and they wanted to amputate my right leg.’
    • ‘If tissue damage is severe, a health care provider may need to remove the tissue surgically or amputate the limb.’
    • ‘By inhibiting such a current after amputating a salamander's leg, they can, in effect, flip a switch that shuts down the process of regrowth.’
    • ‘Several years and a couple surgeries later, her foot was amputated below the knee.’
    • ‘They might have beheaded heretics and adulterers and amputated the limbs of petty thieves but they didn't bother us.’
    cut off, sever, saw off, chop off, lop off, hack off, dock, cleave, hew off, shear off, slice off
    separate, part, detach, disconnect
    dissever, abscise
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century: from Latin amputat- lopped off from amputare, from am- (for amb- around) + putare to prune.