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mutilate (v.)

1530s, of things (writing or books) "disfigure, maim by depriving of a characteristic part;" 1560s, of persons, "cut off a limb or any important part of;" from Latin mutilatus, past participle of mutilare "to cut off, lop off, cut short; maim, mutilate," from mutilus "maimed," which is of uncertain etymology. Properly, to deprive of some principal part, especially by cutting off, and emphasizing the injury to completeness and beauty. Related: Mutilated; mutilating.

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