de·​cor·​ti·​ca·​tion (ˌ)dē-ˌkȯr-tə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce decortication (audio)
: the act or process of removing the outer coverings (such as bark or husks) from something (such as fiber or seed)
: the surgical removal of the outer layer or covering of an organ or structure (such as the brain or a kidney)
decorticate transitive verb

Examples of decortication in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In addition, hemp grain and fiber processing (decortication) infrastructure has been greatly developed in recent years. Robert Hoban, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2023 Colorado’s agriculture department also wants to buy two decortication machines — which prepare raw hemp to be made into yarn and other products — and set them up for farmers to use. Sophie Quinton, Anchorage Daily News, 12 July 2021 From there, the fiber, which comprises roughly 25% of the hemp stalk, is isolated and removed in a process called decortication. Dom Difurio, Dallas News, 4 Sep. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'decortication.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin decortication-, decorticatio, from decorticare to remove the bark from, from de- + cortic-, cortex bark — more at cuirass

First Known Use

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of decortication was circa 1623

Dictionary Entries Near decortication

Cite this Entry

“Decortication.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


de·​cor·​ti·​ca·​tion (ˌ)dē-ˌkȯrt-i-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce decortication (audio)
: the surgical removal of the cortex of an organ, an enveloping membrane, or a constrictive fibrinous covering
the decortication of a lung
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