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
  1. verb
    make shorter as if by cutting off
    truncate a word”
    “Erosion has truncated the ridges of the mountains”
    synonyms: cut short
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    type of:
    make shorter than originally intended; reduce or retrench in length or duration
  2. verb
    approximate by ignoring all terms beyond a chosen one
    truncate a series”
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    type of:
    approximate, estimate, gauge, guess, judge
    judge tentatively or form an estimate of (quantities or time)
  3. verb
    replace a corner by a plane
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    type of:
    exchange, interchange, replace, substitute
    put in the place of another; switch seemingly equivalent items
  4. adjective
    terminating abruptly by having or as if having an end or point cut off
    “a truncate leaf”
    synonyms: truncated
    (primarily spatial sense) having little length or lacking in length
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