ex·co·ri·ate | \ ek-ˈskȯr-ē-ˌāt \
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 \ 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

One Superior Court judge excoriated Younge in an opinion vacating her termination of a couple’s parental rights. Samantha Melamed, Philly.com, "Inside the Philly courtroom where you're not allowed to speak," 21 May 2018 Chinese social media blazed with rage as nationalists excoriated the companies. The Economist, "A deadline looms in China’s battle with foreign firms over Taiwan," 5 July 2018 In response, Trump launched a fusillade of tweets excoriating Harley for its decision. James B. Nelson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Donald Trump heads to Wisconsin to celebrate Foxconn amid his attacks on Harley-Davidson," 26 June 2018 Despite shaky evidence for the claim, Krauthammer was foremost among pundits who took up the president's cause, excoriating anyone who opposed it or hesitated, from the Swedish weapons inspector Hans Blix to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Adam Bernstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Charles Krauthammer, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and intellectual provocateur, dies at 68," 21 June 2018 The United States and other traditional allies had excoriated the Polish government over the law, passed in February, condemning it as largely unenforceable, a threat to free speech, and an act of historical revisionism. Marc Santora, BostonGlobe.com, "Poland softens Holocaust law, removes criminal penalties for those accused of implicating nation," 28 June 2018 The United States and other traditional allies had excoriated the Polish government over the law, passed in February, condemning it as largely unenforceable, a threat to free speech, and an act of historical revisionism. Marc Santora, New York Times, "Poland’s Holocaust Law Weakened After ‘Storm and Consternation’," 27 June 2018 Another example: People in poverty are excoriated for purchasing sugary drinks from their local stores. Alfred Lubrano, Philly.com, "Attacking people in poverty for buying birthday cakes and other treats with food stamps," 17 June 2018 Across the political spectrum, politicians – Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Paul Ryan – were excoriated by a pair of FBI agents whose texts were disclosed in a report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Jeff Barker, baltimoresun.com, "Inspector General report says FBI agent called Martin O'Malley a 'douche'," 15 June 2018

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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Statistics for excoriate

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for excoriate

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

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English Language Learners Definition of excoriate

: to criticize (someone or something) very harshly

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Comments on excoriate

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


the setting in which something occurs

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