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 excoriate (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 Noem previously had supported the bill enthusiastically, leading many of its proponents to excoriate her sudden hesitation as a bow to the state’s left-leaning Chamber of Commerce. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "How Kristi Noem's transgender sports veto tapped into the 'spirit of Mike Pence'," 24 Mar. 2021 The Democratic House would use the opportunity to excoriate Mr. Trump a final time on his way out the door, and grown-ups in the Republican Senate are unlikely to play along. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump’s Embarrassing Electoral College Hustle," 30 Dec. 2020 Iraqi politicians and other figures also took to social media to excoriate Trump for the move. Los Angeles Times, "Trump pardon of Blackwater killers sparks outrage in Iraq," 23 Dec. 2020 In an extraordinary move, The New York Times Guild went as far as to excoriate Stephens in a tweet over the weekend. Brian Stelter, CNN, "1619 Project faces renewed criticism — this time from within The New York Times," 12 Oct. 2020 Anderson does not excoriate the patriarchy, and in fact the First Lady has a fine and important job and seems to dominate her Husband. Paul Di Filippo, Washington Post, "In Ros Anderson’s ‘The Hierarchies,’ a robotic heroine longs for a better life," 30 Aug. 2020 Henderson was not the sole convention speaker to excoriate Biden’s record on race. Carly Ortiz-lytle, Washington Examiner, "Civil rights activist: 'Trump has done more for black Americans in four years than Joe Biden has done in 50'," 27 Aug. 2020 Then, two days later, Greeley let loose—not to revisit the killing or to meditate on the lessons of the hanging, but to excoriate the newspapers that had so avidly covered both. James M. Lundberg, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Horace Greeley Turned Newspapers Legitimate and Saved the Media From Itself," 6 Mar. 2020 The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington excoriated Trump for his visit to St. John's Church. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "Tear gas vs. pepper spray. Debate over methods used to clear Lafayette Square turns political," 3 June 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

20 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Excoriate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excoriate. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for excoriate



English Language Learners Definition of excoriate

formal : to criticize (someone or something) very harshly

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