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

The obsession is justifiable: Their milk is loaded with lactic acid, a dermatological wonder that gently exfoliates, can help reduce signs of aging like spots and sallowness, and can increase skin’s ability to retain moisture. Jennifer Goldstein, Marie Claire, "Goat Milk Is the Secret to Beautiful Skin," 29 Nov. 2018 This motion gently exfoliates the area without traumatizing it, Dr. Conrad says. Korin Miller, SELF, "We Asked Dermatologists How to Prevent Those Painful Ingrown Hairs by Your Vulva," 8 Aug. 2018 The second part of your double-cleansing routine can be completed with the Love Your Bare Face Detoxifying Cleansing Stick, which gently exfoliates without any grit thanks to pomegranate fruit extract. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Julep Passport To K-Beauty Kit Is Filled With Glass-Skin Essentials (Exclusive)," 18 July 2018 This cleanser contains vegan lactic acid (derived from beets) that gently exfoliates, and seaweed that hydrates and balances for a glowing AF complexion. Kara Wahlgren, Seventeen, "8 Tricks for Getting Rid of Pimples (Almost) Overnight," 9 July 2018 Apply a serum with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), fruit acids that gently exfoliate skin to reveal fresh, younger cells. Melissa Matthews, Woman's Day, "The Foolproof Anti-Aging Skin Routine," 24 Aug. 2015 Pick the right exfoliating acid for your skin-type. Talia Abbas, SELF, "How to Get Rid of Blackheads on Your Nose, Chin and Forehead," 28 Dec. 2018 In both Skinfix products, there's a blend of hydrating emollients, like shea butter, to soothe just-exfoliated skin. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "Skinfix's Renewing Body Scrub & Cream Combo Is the Most Effective Keratosis Pilaris Treatment I've Ever Used," 27 Aug. 2018 And no need to exfoliate daily — a few times a week is just fine. 3. Mona Gohara, Good Housekeeping, "6 Reasons Why Your Skin Is Blotchy — And How to Fix It," 13 Dec. 2018

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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Last Updated

24 Feb 2019

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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

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