ex·​com·​mu·​ni·​cate | \ ˌek-skə-ˈmyü-nə-ˌkāt How to pronounce excommunicate (audio) \
excommunicated; excommunicating; excommunicates

Definition of excommunicate

 (Entry 1 of 2)


ex·​com·​mu·​ni·​cate | \ ˌek-skə-ˈmyü-ni-kət How to pronounce excommunicate (audio) \

Definition of excommunicate (Entry 2 of 2)

: excluded from the rights of church membership : excommunicated

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Other Words from excommunicate


excommunicator \ ˌek-​skə-​ˈmyü-​nə-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce excommunicator (audio) \ noun


excommunicate noun

Examples of excommunicate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The church said Bratton is no longer a member, is no longer receiving a salary, and that he was excommunicated by the church the following Sunday, May 19. CBS News, "Southern Baptist pastor in Texas charged with sex abuse of a teen family member," 17 June 2019 Whoever threw that lemon at Ariana grande is excommunicated from the church of Beyoncé. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Called Out a Fan for Throwing a Lemon at Her During Coachella," 22 Apr. 2019 As part of the deal, the pope also recognized seven excommunicated Chinese bishops who had been appointed without Vatican approval over the years. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Pope Francis Reaches Out to Chinese Catholics After Deal on Bishops," 26 Sep. 2018 President Trump essentially excommunicated Stephen K. Bannon on Wednesday with a fire-breathing statement issued in response to a forthcoming book in which the former White House chief strategist is quoted extensively. Callum Borchers, Washington Post, "'He lost his mind': Trump's excommunication of Steve Bannon, annotated," 3 Jan. 2018 China considered the Vatican’s insistence as an infringement on its sovereignty. Because of the dispute, China over the years named some bishops without papal consent, some of whom were then excommunicated by the church. Nicole Winfield, The Seattle Times, "Pope acknowledges China bishop deal will cause suffering," 25 Sep. 2018 On Saturday, the Vatican announced that the pope was recognizing a new diocese Chengde, which the Chinese government had established in 2010 for excommunicated Bishop Guo Jincai, one of the seven newly recognized. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Vatican and China Sign Deal Over Bishops, Allowing Pope a Veto," 22 Sep. 2018 The Vatican has agreed to recognize as legitimate seven Chinese priests who had been excommunicated by Rome for accepting their bishop hats without Vatican approval. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Vatican’s China Syndrome," 14 Sep. 2018 Afraid the church was going to excommunicate him, Jackson begged Landis to have the film destroyed. Aja Romano, Vox, "Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is the eternal Halloween bop — and so much more," 31 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'excommunicate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of excommunicate


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1521, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for excommunicate


Middle English, from Late Latin excommunicatus, past participle of excommunicare, from Latin ex- + Late Latin communicare to communicate

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Statistics for excommunicate

Last Updated

26 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for excommunicate

The first known use of excommunicate was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of excommunicate

: to not allow (someone) to continue being a member of the Roman Catholic church

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Comments on excommunicate

What made you want to look up excommunicate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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