The verb truncate means to cut off or shorten. You can truncate a board that is too long using a power saw, a chain saw, or perhaps even a karate kick.

The word truncate is from a Latin word, truncare, which means "to maim or to cut off." Although this brings to mind a more grisly image ("truncate a limb in an accident"), you can actually truncate things that are not related to anatomy. You could truncate an essay by omitting a paragraph or two, or you could even truncate your vacation in Belize by heading home early.

Definitions of truncate

v make shorter as if by cutting off

truncate a word”
“Erosion has truncated the ridges of the mountains”
cut short
Type of:
make shorter than originally intended; reduce or retrench in length or duration

v approximate by ignoring all terms beyond a chosen one

truncate a series”
Type of:
approximate, estimate, gauge, guess, judge
judge tentatively or form an estimate of (quantities or time)

v replace a corner by a plane

Type of:
exchange, interchange, replace, substitute
put in the place of another; switch seemingly equivalent items

adj terminating abruptly by having or as if having an end or point cut off

“a truncate leaf”
(primarily spatial sense) having little length or lacking in length

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