"to clasp, confine with a buckle, ring, clasp, or the like," especially of the sexual organs, to prevent copulation, 1620s, from Latin infibulatus, past participle of infibulare "to close with a clasp," from in- "on" (from PIE root *en "in") + fibula "a clasp, pin" (from PIE root *dheigw- "to stick, fix"). Related: Infibulated.
This operation was very generally practised in antiquity upon both young men and young women, but in later times chiefly upon the latter; and it is said to be still in use in some parts of the East. [Century Dictionary, 1902]
updated on August 19, 2018