"to deprive of the testicles, emasculate," 1610s (implied in castrated), back-formation from castration (q.v.), or from Latin castratus, past participle of castrare "to castrate, emasculate; to prune," supposedly from a noun *castrum "knife, instrument that cuts" (from PIE root *kes- "to cut"). The figurative sense "destroy the strength or vitality of" is attested earlier (1550s). Related: Castrating.
updated on November 12, 2022