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

In June, during the first Democratic debate, those virtues elided as Ms Harris excoriated Joe Biden, the frontrunner, for his opposition in the 1970s to school bussing, a policy Ms Harris had benefited from as a child. The Economist, "Can Kamala Harris recover from her slump?," 12 Sep. 2019 Soon, Cukor was being excoriated on social media as a racist. Otis R. Taylor Jr., SFChronicle.com, "Calling police on black people over petty matters: There’s a reason these videos go viral," 11 July 2019 Get our daily newsletter In his resignation speech on August 20th, the popular Mr Conte excoriated the League leader to his face, calling him disloyal and irresponsible. The Economist, "Italy’s Five Star Movement has a deal to form a new government," 29 Aug. 2019 The group’s president, Jim Irvine, in the past repeatedly excoriated Sen. DeWine for his record on guns. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com, "Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine used to favor gun control. So, will he ‘do something’ post-Dayton?," 5 Aug. 2019 Tenney excoriated the mill owners, the prominent Cabot family of Boston. David Vernette, Smithsonian, "When an Influx of French-Canadian Immigrants Struck Fear Into Americans," 21 Aug. 2019 Murdoch also excoriated Locast, which Fox and others have sued for streaming local TV signals without permission. Paul Bond, The Hollywood Reporter, "Fox Corp. Earnings Impress Post-Disney Sale," 7 Aug. 2019 The debate broke down over familiar lines, with Republicans insisting that speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was breaking rules by using the term, Democrats excoriating Trump, and everyone else wondering what exactly was going on in Washington, DC. Heather Timmons, Quartz, "How a manual written by Thomas Jefferson sparked a battle over Trump and racism," 17 July 2019 The threat of the raids has stoked fear nationwide and, earlier Friday, officials across Connecticut excoriated the president’s immigration actions and pledged to support local immigrants. Abigail Brone, courant.com, "Activists gather across the state to support immigrants at Lights for Liberty protests," 13 July 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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Statistics for excoriate

Last Updated

21 Sep 2019

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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

formal : 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).


to spread over or through

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