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 excommunicate (audio) \ noun


excommunicate noun

Examples of excommunicate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Many, if not most, of those investors were Mennonites, and the religious community’s judgment has been swift: Three of the owners have been excommunicated. Tim Carman, Washington Post, "A Pennsylvania dairy was built on Mennonites’ trust and money. Now they’re left holding the bag.," 17 Dec. 2019 The Pope—not angry, just disappointed—excommunicated him. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, "The Ghost of Robert the Bruce and the Scottish Independence Movement," 16 Mar. 2020 The main LDS Church, headquartered in Utah, abandoned polygamy and began to crack down on its practice by excommunicating members. Brittany Shammas, Washington Post, "Nine members of Mormon family, dual U.S.-Mexican citizens, killed in attack in northern Mexico; Trump offers support," 5 Nov. 2019 Ron Lafferty eventually adopted his brother’s thinking and the two were excommunicated from the faith in 1983. BostonGlobe.com, "SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah death-row inmate who killed his brother’s wife and her toddler in 1984 because of his strong polygamist beliefs in a case made famous by the book ‘‘Under the Banner of Heaven’’ has died of natural causes, prison officials said Monday.," 12 Nov. 2019 And yet, there the old man sits, hunched over in some lifeless, windowless palace of gaming or at a speaking engagement in Poughkeepsie, signing his name to baseballs, excommunicated. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's TML: Baseball loves its cheaters. Well, most of them. You know where this is going.," 14 Jan. 2020 The priest declared that she would be excommunicated. Emma Green, The Atlantic, "The Christian Withdrawal Experiment," 12 Dec. 2019 Because of that, my daughter has been excommunicated from the entire family. cleveland, "Dear Annie: Family issues have me dreading the holidays," 17 Nov. 2019 Then, in the early 1990s, six high-profile Mormon intellectuals, many of whom were outspoken LDS feminists, were excommunicated. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "Mormon women are caught between economic pressures and the word of God," 31 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for excommunicate

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

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Cite this Entry

“Excommunicate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excommunicate. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for excommunicate



English Language Learners Definition of excommunicate

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

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