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

Definition of excoriate

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from excoriate

excoriation \ (ˌ)ek-​ˌskȯr-​ē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce excoriation (audio) \ noun

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 Trump mocked Bloomberg’s performance in last week’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas in which the former New York City mayor was excoriated by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump says Mike Bloomberg should end 'joke of a campaign' after South Carolina primary," 29 Feb. 2020 Similarly, when Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council's Ukraine expert, testified about Trump's infamous phone call, he was excoriated. TheWeek, "All the president's turncoats," 27 Jan. 2020 At the beginning of his Saint Laurent tenure, Slimane was mostly excoriated by fashion critics, but retailers cheered his rigorously unsentimental creative destruction because from it came the kind of clothes most people actually wear these days. Alexandra Marshall, WSJ, "Exclusive: Step Inside YSL’s New Parisian Headquarters," 15 Feb. 2019 Carville and Sanders began feuding after the strategist excoriated the socialist in an interview with Vox published Feb. 7. Tim Pearce, Washington Examiner, "'At least I'm not a communist': James Carville responds to Bernie Sanders," 13 Feb. 2020 Johnson’s decision came a little more than a week after President Donald Trump, in Chicago to speak at a police chiefs conference, excoriated the superintendent for boycotting his remarks. Gregory Pratt, chicagotribune.com, "Eddie Johnson, who steadied CPD after the Laquan McDonald scandal, to retire as Chicago’s top cop," 7 Nov. 2019 In court transcripts, 20th District Criminal Court Judge Mark J. Fishburn excoriated Reynolds and sentenced him to 15 days in jail for the break-in, along with assessing court fees of more than $1,000. Kalhan Rosenblatt, NBC News, "A white NYPD officer broke into a black woman's home and threatened her. Activists want him fired.," 1 Jan. 2020 On the downside: Cats, Tom Hooper's excoriated screen adaptation of the Broadway show, cost a staggering $100 million to make (not including marketing expenses) and only took in $6.5 million in its opening weekend at North American theaters. Paula Bernstein, Fortune, "2019 Box Office: Here’s What Worked and What Didn’t," 30 Dec. 2019 During public comment, speaker after speaker excoriated Aurora’s leaders for how the city has handled the death of Elijah McClain, a young African-American man who died in August after a stop by police that turned violent. John Aguilar, The Denver Post, "Mike Coffman sworn in as Aurora’s new mayor as discord marks first meeting," 2 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'excoriate.' 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 excoriate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for excoriate

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

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

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Last Updated

8 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Excoriate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excoriate. Accessed 31 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for excoriate


How to pronounce excoriate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of excoriate

formal : to criticize (someone or something) very harshly

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