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 The 2011 Green Lantern movie, starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively was...not a success, with critics excoriating it and audiences largely ignoring it. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Ryan Reynolds Hilariously Roasted Himself Over 'Green Lantern' On Twitter," 27 Apr. 2020 Not long after, the head of the Salem network dropped by to excoriate me in front of local management for my lack of enthusiasm for the president. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: I criticized Trump on Salem’s 710 KNUS and lost my job. That’s bad for democracy.," 18 Nov. 2019 By Scarlett Peckham Review: Female rage is all the, well, rage, and Scarlett Peckham taps into it with exquisitely excoriating detail in The Rakess, the first in her new Society of Sirens series. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Hot Stuff: New April romances are escapist and revolutionary," 4 May 2020 Philippe Garrel’s drama, from 2016, maps a filmmaking couple’s romantic crises onto political and historical conflicts, and does so with a self-aware and self-excoriating irony. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "What to Stream: Forty-Six Films from OVID.tv, Crackle, and IFC Films Unlimited," 28 Apr. 2020 Veteran investigative journalist Carl Bernstein delivered an unforgiving assessment of President Trump on Sunday, excoriating the commander in chief for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "'Demonstrable instability': Carl Bernstein rips Trump for failure to mobilize coronavirus testing," 26 Apr. 2020 Western politicians spent January and February excoriating Beijing for its disastrous early attempts to suppress public discussion of the coronavirus. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "The West Can’t Contain the Coronavirus. Should You Shelter in China?," 26 Mar. 2020 In Colorado, Secretary of State Jena Griswold excoriated the Postal Service last November after 828 ballots arrived in Denver-area mailboxes on the afternoon of a tight mayoral race in suburban Aurora — too late for many people to vote. Stephanie Saul, New York Times, "Inside Wisconsin’s Election Mess: Thousands of Missing or Nullified Ballots," 9 Apr. 2020 McConnell excoriated Senate Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for blocking the shell bill Sunday. Fox News, "Fate of 'Phase Three' coronavirus stimulus package uncertain after Senate fails to move forward amid Dem opposition," 23 Mar. 2020

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

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Excoriate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excoriate. Accessed 4 Jun. 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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