ex·​co·​ri·​ate ek-ˈskȯr-ē-ˌāt How to pronounce excoriate (audio)
excoriated; excoriating

transitive verb

: to wear off the skin of : abrade
: to censure scathingly

Did you know?

Excoriate, which first appeared in English in the 15th century, comes from "excoriatus," the past participle of the Late Latin verb excoriare, meaning "to strip off the hide." "Excoriare" was itself formed from a pairing of the Latin prefix ex-, meaning "out," and corium, meaning "skin" or "hide" or "leather." "Corium" has several other descendants in English. One is "cuirass," a name for a piece of armor that covers the body from neck to waist (or something, such as bony plates covering an animal, that resembles such armor). Another is "corium" itself, which is sometimes used as a synonym of "dermis" (the inner layer of human skin).

Examples of excoriate in a Sentence

He was excoriated as a racist. The candidates have publicly excoriated each other throughout the campaign.
Recent Examples on the Web In a post on the platform Truth Social just hours before news of Murdoch's exit broke, for example, Trump excoriated Fox for purportedly refusing to show the results of a poll. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, 21 Sep. 2023 The president even got an extensive, excoriating fact-check from CNN, not usually known for humiliating Democratic politicians. Rich Lowry, National Review, 18 Sep. 2023 Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who presided over the trial, excoriated his counterparts in the House for pushing the impeachment investigation and called for an audit of House spending on it. Eva Ruth Moravec, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Sep. 2023 Incensed at the subtle change in wording between his order and Southwest's memo, as well as with the company's reiteration of its civility standards, Starr excoriated the airline in a blistering 29-page memo filed last month. Rafi Schwartz, The Week, 5 Sep. 2023 The judges excoriated the Alabama Legislature and accused it of defying the court. Kyle Whitmire | Kwhitmire@al.com, al, 7 Sep. 2023 Standing outside the courthouse, Navarro excoriated his political and ideological foes, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the former House speaker, and Attorney General Merrick Garland. Paul Duggan, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2023 During the council meeting, Soto-Martínez also excoriated Abbott for sending a bus of migrants to the city earlier this month while Los Angeles was under an unprecedented tropical storm warning and officials were urging residents not to travel. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2023 But in her view, Merrily is far from the bleak show business send-up that critics excoriated in 1981. Marley Marius, Vogue, 21 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Late Latin excoriatus, past participle of excoriare, from Latin ex- + corium skin, hide — more at cuirass

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of excoriate was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near excoriate

Cite this Entry

“Excoriate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excoriate. Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ex·​co·​ri·​ate ek-ˈskōr-ē-āt How to pronounce excoriate (audio)
excoriated; excoriating
: to criticize very severely
excoriation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on excoriate

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