to cut off (all or part of a limb or digit of the body), as by surgery.
to prune, lop off, or remove:
Because of space limitations the editor amputated the last two paragraphs of the news report.
Obsolete. to prune, as branches of trees.
Contemporary Examples

Gangrene is not curable by current medical intervention once past a certain point in its progression, except by amputation.
Can Meditation Cure Disease? Maureen Seaberg December 24, 2010

In some cases, Roth said, amputation is the only solution to “fixing” horrible infections or deformities.
Illegal Butt Injections Are on the Rise and Women Are at Risk Lizzie Crocker, Caitlin Dickson October 12, 2012

I will almost surely have to give it up: It is an amputation I may not be able to bear.
The Bag Lady Papers Alexandra Penney December 16, 2008

KIEV, Ukraine—Outside Kiev, outside Ukraine, academics can ask if the country might be better off after the amputation of Crimea.
Ukraine Hunts for a Scapegoat Anna Nemtsova March 19, 2014

One year after the Boston bombing, a maimed survivor faces the choice of amputation.
The Daily Beast’s Best Longreads, April 12, 2014 April 11, 2014

Historical Examples

I used it at first for experimenting upon the amputation of limbs and other surgical operations.
Strange Stories Grant Allen

As Mrs. Spencer had explained to Glen, there had been some trouble in the amputation.
The Boy Scout Treasure Hunters Charles Henry Lerrigo

After amputation the ligature had been awkwardly applied to the humeral artery.
The Life of Nelson, Vol. I (of 2) A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

Garrison and Phillips proposed the amputation of the diseased limb.
The Blot on the Kaiser’s ‘Scutcheon Newell Dwight Hillis

He received three wounds, one of which necessitated the amputation of his arm near the shoulder.
South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 6 (of 6) Louis Creswicke

(surgery) to remove (all or part of a limb, esp an arm or leg)

1610s, “a cutting off of tree branches, a pruning,” also “operation of cutting off a limb, etc., of a body,” from Middle French amputation or directly from Latin amputationem (nominative amputatio), noun of action from past participle stem of amputare “cut off, lop off; cut around, to prune,” from am(bi)- “about” (see ambi-) + putare “to prune, trim” (see pave).

1630s, back-formation from amputation or else from Latin amputatus, past participle of amputare “to cut off, to prune.” Related: Amputated; amputating.

amputation am·pu·ta·tion (ām’pyu-tā’shən)

Surgical removal of all or part of a limb, an organ, or projecting part or process of the body.

Traumatic or spontaneous loss of a limb, organ, or part.

amputate am·pu·tate (ām’pyu-tāt’)
v. am·pu·tat·ed, am·pu·tat·ing, am·pu·tates
To cut off a part of the body, especially by surgery.


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