Share this entry

Share this page

circumcise

Line breaks: cir¦cum|cise
Pronunciation: /ˈsəːkəmsʌɪz
 
/

Definition of circumcise in English:

verb

[with object]
1Cut off the foreskin of (a young boy or man, especially a baby) as a religious rite, especially in Judaism and Islam, or as a medical treatment.
Example sentences
  • Shemot Rabbah tells us that the Jews ceased circumcising their sons to blend in better with their Egyptian hosts.
  • As a mother, over time I have come to regret that my son was circumcised.
  • My wife Devorah and I were resolute about our decision not to circumcise our son.
2(As a practice traditional in some cultures) partially or totally remove the external genitalia of (a girl or young woman) for non-medical reasons.
Example sentences
  • The Shija female initiation ceremony was performed after the young women were circumcised.
  • Particular ethnic groups circumcise their women during pregnancy, when they are in labour or when they have given birth to their first child.
  • The colonial authorities had arrested a woman for circumcising her daughter.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French circonciser, or from Latin circumcis- 'cut around', from the verb circumcidere, from circum 'around, about' + caedere 'to cut'.

Derivatives

circumciser

1
noun
Example sentences
  • The activists made the allegation after a meeting of former circumcisers.
  • Virtually all of their mothers had been cut by a traditional circumciser.
  • The main recommendations included penalizing circumcisers and those who contribute to the act.

Words that rhyme with circumcise

exercisemetastasize

Definition of circumcise in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something