J'ai trouvé deux mots dans un texte. Ils se ressemblent mais je sais pas si on peut les utiliser comme synonymes. Dans les deux phrases suivantes ils sont utilisés différemment, mais avec google translate il n'y a pas de différence.


voire mutilations que s'infligent des mendiants professionnels


L’aveu est donc recherché et « la question » est souvent l’occasion d’extirper l’aveu par la torture

  • 1
    Comparing/contrasting a noun (mutilation) with a verb (extirper) to see if they're possibly synonymous is tough. Did you perhaps mean to ask instead about "[s']infliger vs [s']extirper" or "mutiler vs extirper" or "mutilation vs extirpation"?
    – Papa Poule
    Nov 5, 2016 at 15:47
  • I meant the difference between extirper and mutiler
    – Feras
    Nov 5, 2016 at 15:57
  • Google translate gives extirpate for extirper and mutilate for mutiler.
    – jlliagre
    Nov 5, 2016 at 16:05
  • There does seem to be a connection by way of the verb "retrancher [un membre, une partie du corps]" found first under Google translate's entry for "mutiler" (so +1 for opening my eyes to that), but I'll leave it to someone else to discuss whether this connection is sufficient to consider "mutiler" and "retrancher" (and thus "extirper") as synonyms.
    – Papa Poule
    Nov 5, 2016 at 16:27
  • in extirper "Arracher en déracinant" and in mutiler "Retrancher un membre, une partie du corps" which for me they sounds the same. but they used in different way in the sentences I added above.
    – Feras
    Nov 5, 2016 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


First, you should use a dictionary, google translate is not reliable.

extirper most common meaning:

to pull out, take out, whip out (remove something from e.g. a holder, pocket, holster etc.)

EDIT: It is often used to express that the action was not that easy to pull out.

and for mutilation:

The act of mutilating or the state of being mutilated.

Therefore, mutilate:

  • To physically harm as to impair use, notably by cutting off or otherwise disabling a vital part, such as a limb. To destroy beyond recognition.

To conclude, "extirper" will be about removing something and could be a way to mutilate, (and cause "mutilations") but can also be a way of healing or just an act that has nothing in common with damaging [some]body.

  • I'd add that "extirper" often implies a sense of pain or effort in the process. Nov 7, 2016 at 9:12
  • @TeleportingGoat Comment added, thanks !
    – Yohann V.
    Nov 7, 2016 at 9:37

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