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 The Tallahassee judge who ordered DCF to reinstate the doctor excoriated the agency for trying to pin the abuse on four low-level workers who weren’t responsible — while protecting their bosses. Carol Marbin Miller, Miami Herald, 11 Feb. 2024 Trump also publicly excoriated Vice President Mike Pence for refusing to block the certification, even as Trump supporters were calling for Pence to be hung. Jonathan Shorman, Kansas City Star, 22 Mar. 2024 Continue reading … ‘A SLIPPERY SLOPE’ – Schumer excoriated over 'unprecedented,' 'ridiculous' Israel speech. Fox News, 15 Mar. 2024 Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, on Thursday delivered a pointed speech on the Senate floor excoriating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel as a major obstacle to peace in the Middle East and calling for new leadership in Israel, five months into the war. Annie Karni, New York Times, 14 Mar. 2024 The Bills swiftly cut Araiza and he was excoriated in the media. Facts about his behavior on the night in question slowly came to light through investigations by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the county prosecutor’s office and San Diego State. Steve Henson, Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2024 These are the scenes that dominate the early phase of the 2024 presidential campaign, with Republicans excoriating President Joe Biden and considering whether to impeach his Homeland Security secretary. Colleen Long, Orlando Sentinel, 8 Jan. 2024 The company would immediately be abandoned by advertisers and publicly excoriated, with executives having to issue apologies and beg for forgiveness. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 28 Feb. 2024 These changes are a stark departure from the earliest days of the crisis, when public-health experts excoriated public figures—among them, former President Donald Trump—for evoking flu to minimize COVID deaths and dismiss mitigation strategies. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 28 Feb. 2024

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 25 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


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

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