exfoliate

verb
ex·​fo·​li·​ate | \ (ˌ)eks-ˈfō-lē-ˌāt How to pronounce exfoliate (audio) \
exfoliated; exfoliating

Definition of exfoliate

transitive verb

1 : to cast off in scales, laminae, or splinters
2 : to remove the surface of in scales or laminae
3 : to spread or extend by or as if by opening out leaves

intransitive verb

1 : to split into or give off scales, laminae, or body cells
2 : to come off in thin layers or scales
3 : to grow by or as if by producing or unfolding leaves

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Other Words from exfoliate

exfoliation \ (ˌ)eks-​ˌfō-​lē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce exfoliation (audio) \ noun
exfoliative \ eks-​ˈfō-​lē-​ˌā-​tiv How to pronounce exfoliative (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for exfoliate

Synonyms

molt, shed, slip, slough (also sluff)

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Examples of exfoliate in a Sentence

a soap that promises to help me exfoliate all that dry, flaky skin I've apparently been carrying around

Recent Examples on the Web

This bundle has 4-ounce bottles of face wash, exfoliating toner and moisturizing face gel. Kevin Smothers, latimes.com, "Father’s Day shopping: Give the gift of grooming with these fresh products," 6 June 2019 The scrub, made with apricot seeds, is meant to exfoliate the lips, and can be worn throughout the day as your lips feel dry. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Fenty Beauty Announced Its Summer Collection," 4 May 2019 Retinoids, which are derivatives of vitamin A, are able to exfoliate the top layer of skin cells at lightning speed. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "The Secret to Jennifer Garner's Glowy, Ageless Skin," 8 Apr. 2019 Brushing everyday, regardless of your hair texture, will also help exfoliate the scalp and remove dead hair, says Balding. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "How To Make Your Hair Grow Longer and Thicker," 14 Nov. 2018 That said, the simple act of putting something on your face and then washing it off will likely take some oil and dirt with it and may even exfoliate the skin a bit, leaving you with cleaner and smoother skin regardless. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Can Any Skin-Care Products Actually 'Detox' Your Face?," 3 May 2019 Thanks to its combination of nine different AHAs and BHAs (exfoliating acids that slough off dead skin), the formula goes to work to leave behind a softer, smoother look and feel. Tara Gonzalez, Glamour, "Everyone Is Obsessed With Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Serum, and I Finally Get Why," 10 Apr. 2019 The Rice Enzyme Powder has a fan in her Royal Highness Meghan Markle, a TSA-friendly polishing (exfoliating) cleanser that transforms into foam when water is added and leaves skin clean but not stripped. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Every Single Tatcha Product Is on Sale," 6 June 2018 Use it at night to exfoliate and reduce oil build-up on the congested spots. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Say "See Ya Bye" to Body Acne with These Helpful Tips," 21 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exfoliate.' 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 exfoliate

1612, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for exfoliate

Late Latin exfoliatus, past participle of exfoliare to strip of leaves, from Latin ex- + folium leaf — more at blade

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Statistics for exfoliate

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exfoliate

The first known use of exfoliate was in 1612

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More Definitions for exfoliate

exfoliate

verb
ex·​fo·​li·​ate | \ -ˈfō-lē-ˌāt How to pronounce exfoliate (audio) \
exfoliated; exfoliating

Medical Definition of exfoliate

transitive verb

1 : to cast off in scales or laminae
2 : to remove the surface of in scales or laminae
3 : to shed (teeth) by exfoliation

intransitive verb

1 : to split into or give off scales, laminae, or body cells
2 : to come off in thin layers or scales : scale off

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More from Merriam-Webster on exfoliate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exfoliate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exfoliate

Britannica English: Translation of exfoliate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on exfoliate

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